Student’s art exhibition to showcase Ukrainian unity
A St Andrews student is staging a series of fundraising art exhibitions showcasing the resilience and determination of the Ukrainian people and their culture since Russia’s full-scale invasion last year.
Victor Radchenko, who is studying for an MLitt in Global Social and Political Thought following completion of his undergraduate degree in International Relations, has curated ‘INTER UPTED (500 Days of Memories)’ to represent the struggle young Ukrainians are facing both at home and abroad in fighting for their future.
Victor, from Kyiv, said the exhibition, set to take place in Glasgow, Edinburgh, London and St Andrews, features contemporary artworks: paintings, photographs, sculptures and interactive art objects by Ukrainian artists based all over the world.
The exhibits will be accompanied by interactive events with speakers, film screenings, music performances and poetry evenings.
Seventy per cent of the proceeds of the sale of artworks will be donated to the Community Interest Company SVYTLO, set up by Victor and supported by a team of Ukrainian friends also studying in Scotland.
He said: “The name INTER UPTED refers to the indestructibility and steadfastness of Ukrainian culture, which despite the war with Russia, is only thriving and uniting the people of Ukraine. Our young people, both at the front and abroad, are fighting for our Ukrainian independence and uniqueness. It is this struggle that we represent in this exhibition.
“As a Ukrainian, it breaks my heart to witness the current state of my homeland amidst aggression and conflict. The deep-rooted connection I have with Ukraine compels me to stand up and support it, no matter the distance that separates us. Ukraine is not just a place on the map where I happened to grow up; it is intertwined with my very being. The cultural heritage, unwavering spirit, and generosity of the Ukrainian people resonate within the depths of my soul. By supporting Ukraine, I am not only preserving my own identity but also ensuring that the legacy of our ancestors lives in the hearts of future generations.
“Nowadays, many innocent civilians, including friends and family, have been affected by the violence of Russian aggression. I believe that the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine demands urgent attention and continuous support to preserve the Ukrainian unique cultural identity. Innocent lives are at stake, and necessities such as shelter and medical aid are in short supply for many affected communities. “
The first exhibition took place at Glasgow’s Saltspace Gallery earlier this month. The artworks will be on show at the Edinburgh Ukrainian Club from 9-17 September. The team also hopes to stage an exhibition in St Andrews. More information is via SVYTLO on Instagram.
Svytlo CIC (SC771488) is a Community Interest Company founded by Ukrainian students and graduates from diverse locations in Scotland in December 2022, amidst Russia's deliberate attacks on Ukrainian power grids, leading to deprivation of necessities for Ukrainians. Its primary objective is to showcase Ukrainian culture on a global platform and preserve our cultural identity through theatrical art events. It is committed to offering ongoing support to those in need and shedding light on the ongoing atrocities in the country, which continue to escalate in their severity. Its aim is to raise awareness among the international community and emphasize the urgent need for assistance. By organizing these events, we hope to demonstrate the resilience and strength of the Ukrainian people, while also fostering a sense of unity and solidarity among individuals worldwide. Together, we can make a difference and bring attention to the pressing issues faced by Ukraine.
The founders of Svytlo CIC include:
Viktor Radchenko: He experienced the initial six months of the invasion in Ukraine, during which he and his family assisted refugees fleeing the war to Western Ukraine. Additionally, he played a significant role in organising the Nadiya charity event in St Andrews, which raised £12,000 for Ukraine.
Niviena Kharlanova: Since the first day of the invasion, she has been actively involved in humanitarian aid efforts as part of the Scottish Pre-loved Baby Boxes for Ukraine initiative. Her contributions include collecting, packing, and shipping over 90 tonnes of humanitarian aid to Vinnitsya, where her family is involved in distributing it to those in need.
Mark Rebotunov: Having been in Scotland at the onset of the war, he created and published an informational website for Ukrainians seeking refuge in the UK. Together with his family, he also facilitated the matching of over a hundred people to hosts in the UK.
Since its inception, Svytlo has successfully organised several events, including:
- Jazz Night & Film Screening for Ukraine: the first event, which enabled the purchase and donation of 40 rechargeable lights to support elderly individuals in Ukraine.
- Charity art sale: a charity sale of art, clothes, handcrafts, fine art prints from local and Ukrainian artists. All charity went to support Ukrainians who suffered from war and were displaced from their homes.
- Blackout Dinner: a gathering where Ukrainians came together to prepare traditional food, sing Ukrainian songs, foster unity, and share our culture with the people of Scotland.
- Rave for Ukraine: showcasing the vibrant and growing EDM scene in Ukraine, representing another facet of contemporary Ukrainian culture.