While financial and political support are essential to self-organized movements like the ongoing Euromaidan protests in Ukraine, art can oftentimes be the fuel that keeps the people going. That was the idea behind Artists Support Ukraine, started by the Kadygrob Taylor Platform for Contemporary Art in Kiev. The art initiative encouraged dozens of international artists to create works supporting those in Ukraine while also condemning Russia's recent annexation of Crimea.
A range of different photographs, graphic art, videos, and messages by the artists have been posted on the Artists Support Ukraine website. For instance, Bulgaria-based artist Luchezar Boyadjiev sent in a rather straight forward digital illustration of an eye, heart, and the word "Ukraine," along with a brief statement. It reads "In this difficult moment my heart is with all friends and people of Ukraine (and of Russia) who hate war! Nothing is worth wasting human life, why don’t we ever learn?"
Likewise, Egyptian-Lebanese artist Lara Baladi has contributed to the initiative with an elaborate, three-channel video, which connects the demonstrations in her own country with social movements from around the world. Though Baladi's message reads, "I am pretty horrified at how the world is so bluntly barbarian although we are in the 21st century," the artist is hopeful. "We do not learn, we do not change, but we Trust and continue to Hope."
Additionally, an exhibition of works that have emerged and been inspired by recent events in Kiev will open at the Vienna Künstlerhaus next Friday. Curator Konstantin Akinsha and Art Ukraine editor Alisa Lozhkina organized "I Am a Drop in the Ocean: Art of the Ukrainian Revolution" to show "the spirit of resistance, the energy of the revolution," Akinsha told Art Newspaper. “In a certain sense, we are equating these arms to art, which also became a weapon of the revolution."
Click through to see some of works on Artists Support Ukraine, and head over to the art iniative's website to see the rest.