OUR CURRENT ACTIVITIES, PROJECTS
ON THE MUSEUM CREATION
AND SHARING ART VALUES
Ukrainian Emergency Art Fund is a fund to support artists and cultural workers during the war and after.
Since 2014 the war waged of russia against Ukraine has been breaking lives of civilians, including lives of independent artists and cultural workers. They all have the right to live in safety and continue their work. Because muses aren’t silent. With despair, pain, joy and hope, captured from the air, artists write down things that should be preserved forever.
To help them, MOCA NGO together with independent media Zaborona, gallery The Naked Room and cultural institution Mystetskyi Arsenal—founded the Ukrainian Emergency Art Fund (UEAF). The UEAF accumulates charity resources, information on available programs, and other opportunities of Ukrainian and foreign institutions to support Ukrainian independent artists, curators, art managers, researchers and non-governmental cultural initiatives.
CEO of UEAF—Illya Zabolotnyi.
MOCA NGO, together with Architectural Studio ФОРМА, developed the project of co-living for artists Emergency Art Shelter.
Military ammunition protects a soldier; the dugout is a shelter for them. An artists’ ammunition is their space for creative journeys; a weapon is their work. Thousands of artists all around Ukraine were forced to leave their studios and homes by the threat to their lives. They still carry their weapons, it’s nonsense to fight against occupiers without a secure place to be and to work—the same as to send a soldier to battle without a bulletproof vest. Our goal is to protect artists with fortified walls and bring back their ammunition; to unite them in safe shelters and provide them with conditions for work. More—at the Emergency Art Shelter presentation.
In this archive we collect art reflecting Russia’s war against Ukraine that started in 2014 and continues with the full-scale invasion in 2022.
A separate selection in this archive compiles the Wartime Art—works that artists themselves post on their social media pages almost every day since 24th of February 2022—in fact, these are their art diaries of the war. These are read by people thus they have an opportunity to meet the expression of their own experiences. There is a timeframe for this archive selection—a martial law in Ukraine.
This archive is created by curators of MOCA NGO—Olga Balashova and Halyna Hleba, also working on projects with our colleagues, partner institutions, based on the archive.
As a professional institution, MOCA NGO understands the importance of timeliness in creating an art collection dedicated to Ukraine’s resistance to Russia’s war since 2014 (and Russia’s full-scale invasion in 2022). The collection of these artworks is intended to become an integral part of the future Museum of Contemporary Art of Ukraine.
Projects based on archive artworks and artworks by artists from our archive:
MOCA NGO leads the curatorial project “Ukrainian Resilience,” a series of virtual exhibits of Ukrainian art, which represent the foundations of the life-giving path to freedom.
In Ukraine, we are convinced that our superpower lies in our ability to survive and recover under the worst conditions. Our history is rich with the experiences of the different ethnic groups of Ukraine – Crimean Tatars, Poles, Jews, Greeks, and others – thus, we know how to overcome obstacles that seem insurmountable, and draw strength from our collective unity.
Before the full-scale war with Russia, many would listen to the Ukrainian hymn with surprise: the first line sings “Neither the glory nor the freedom of Ukraine are dead.” However, we now find these lyrics to be prophetic, and we know that they have not been codified in Ukrainian culture in vain. After all, centuries of life with a neighbor who is constantly trying to conquer or destroy us has made us particularly resilient. It has formed our character, our thirst for freedom, and our belief in our own statehood.
In Western narratives, the word “resilience” is interpreted as a return to normal. For us, it does not only represent a kind of renewal, but also the ability to recognize and catch an opportunity that only comes once in a lifetime.
Ukraine is a young country with a millennial history. In the past 400 years, we have been defending our statehood from Russian imperialism and chauvinism – thus deepening the ideological tectonic shift in Eurasia. This shift was first taking place in the Russian Empire, later, it shifted to the Soviet Union.
In the 70 years of its existence during the 20th century, the Soviet Union successfully spread the stereotype of Ukraine as an agrarian country, populated by a passive and infantile people. However, this image is deconstructed by history, and one of the key archetypes of Ukrainian society, who has been fighting for its own independence for centuries: bellicose Cossack strength.
The foundation of our strength lies in our private ties: in the family circle, with friends, and in political and cultural communities. It is the resort to horizontal communication, and the ability to solve any questions on a non-official level. Ukrainians, like no other people, know how to move to collective action in a difficult moment; and then, society transforms into a single organism, working faultlessly and harmoniously.
Another undeniable specificity of Ukrainian culture is humor. The ability to joke about life’s circumstances makes sincere and good-natured Ukrainians unbreakable. We know how to laugh about pathetic propaganda as well as about our own misfortunes, and that is the end to any totalitarian forces and systems.
Our strength lies in our unprecedented devotion to freedom and our courage to fight for it, in our common actions and our involvement in societal processes, and in our humor, which have all been the basis of Ukrainian life for millennia.
Ukrainians are fighting fiercely for Freedom, as a value of the 21st century. We will tell you about our fight with the language of art.
The “Ukrainian Resilience” project contains three parts, which will gradually appear here.
1. Courage & Determination
2. Vitality & Irony
3. Cooperation & Network
Project team at MOCA NGO:
Curators: Lidiia Apollonova, Olga Balashova, Halyna Hleba.
Management Yuliia Hnat, communications Valya Klymenko, Mariia Khalizeva.
The project is created in collaboration with our partners: Francois-Laurent Renet, Carolina Conforti, The Art Talk Magazine, (Switzerland), Peter Worrall, Exhibbit virtual exhibitions (New Zealand).
The Ukrainian art ecosystem legal research: comprehensive analysis, legislation and policy recommendations development.
The project’s overall goal is to build a comprehensive, tangible, and sustainable Ukrainian art objects legislative framework to ensure clear rules for art objects circulation, acquisition, authentication and trans-border movement through in-depth research, EU/global best-practices analysis and multiple stakeholder inclusion approach.
The project was signed on 21st February 2022 and will be started at the end of March.
It is supported by the grant of The Swiss Confederation, represented by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, acting through Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Embassy of Switzerland in Ukraine.
The key Project’s beneficiary—the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine.
Project organizer: MOCA NGO
After Ukraine’s Win
The Library of the Museum of Contemporary Art is a future research institution focused on contemporary art.
Today, working on its launch, we aim to accumulate world knowledge, support scientific research, stimulate dialogue on contemporary art practices and create a platform for international relations. As the analytical center of the future Museum, MOCA Library will focus on the exploration of Ukrainian art in the broad context of transnational and global art histories.
In the medium term, the MOCA Library aims to create a community of researchers who will have access to books, periodicals, archives, specialized collections, participate in exhibition projects, lectures, reading groups and discussions, developing their research activities with attention to urgent artistic practices and unexplained processes of the Ukrainian artistic environment.
The MOCA Library is created as a network of research spaces in cooperation with public and private cultural institutions. To launch the initial phase of the project and open the first selection for reading in the space of our partner—the National Library of Ukraine named after Yaroslav the Wise, we have selected a list of 150 books on the theory and history of contemporary art: anthologies on corner topics, collections of principled articles influencing our understanding and analysis of contemporary art.
On a separate page, we have placed the current “twenty” books with detailed information, donations payment service for the purpose of purchasing books to the MOCA Library.
We also share a link to the complete catalog of the curatorial selection, where we will further note the current statuses, so you can see the process of collecting books for the library.
Purpose of donation payment: “Charitable contribution to the MOCA Library”. By contributing, you agree to the terms of the MOCA Library’s Support Public Offer.
We ask all patrons to fill in the questionnaire in order to be able to mention them in the history of the MOCA Library.
Project organizer: MOCA NGO
Polina Baitsym, Borys Filonenko—curators of the MOCA Library
MOCA NGO—Olga Balashova, Yuliia Hnat, Hnat Zabrodsky
VMC—Valentina Klimenko, Maria Khalizeva—communications
FORMA—Irina Miroshnikova, Alexey Petrov—architectural solutions
Veronica Selega is a project partner.
Institutional partners: Yaroslav the Wise National Library of Ukraine.
After Ukraine’s Win
A data base of the Ukrainian contemporary art—public and private collections aggregator.
After Ukraine’s Win
The project aims to implement the visual resources approach in educational processes.
The Curator—Illya Levchenko.
We create an unusual cultural guide designed to show the contribution of Ukrainians in the globalised world.
This project has a beginning but it has no end. Over the coming years we will be expanding our guide with more stories not only about artists, but also about athletes, scientists, inventors, writers and other renowned personalities.
Project organizer: MOCA NGO
Project team: Lidiia Apollonova, Olga Balashova, Yuliia Hnat, Valya Klymenko, Illya Zabolotnyi.