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‘What is your name?’ — the destiny of forcefully displaced children and their families explored through art


9 December 2016, Kyiv — in the premises of ‘Mystetskyi Arsenal’ a large-scale exhibition has opened, dedicated to social integration and adaptation of families of internally displaced people (IDPs) as the basis for peacebuilding in Ukraine. The organisers of the events are The UN Children’s Fund (Unicef), the Ministry for Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine, StarLightMedia group, FILM.UA Group, and The National Cultural, Art and Museum Complex ‘Mystetskyi Arsenal’. The exhibition curator is Kateryna Taylor and events programme curator is Darya Koltsova.

The exhibition ‘What is your name?’ not only explores IDPs’ new circumstances by using documental facts, but also by means of art projects. The exhibition works with the themes of eastern Ukraine and identity crisis. Using personal stories, they tell us about prevailing problems, thus encouraging empathy and humanity.

‘The target audience of the exhibition is every Ukrainian. We want to see those who had to live through displacement and those who reside in the places which host IDPs. Those who are open as well as those who are not prepared for dialogue. Because we believe that the art space is the very place where this dialogue can originate’, tells exhibition curator Kateryna Taylor. ‘We will be talking to psychologists and sociologists, artists and, of course, to the children themselves. We will be trying to find zones of comfort and interest for them. Our artists will be creating paintings and pieces of architecture together with them. By the means of art, we will be looking for answers to questions of psychological rehabilitation.’

‘The most piteous thing is that it is children who suffer the most in conflicts. Helping them to overcome fear and bewilderment and return to a normal way of life is our common responsibility’, Jovanna Barberis, UNICEF Representative in Ukraine, comments on the initiative.

The exhibition specifically aims to familiarise viewers with the stages which IDPs had to go through, namely: leaving their homes, a road to the unknown, nostalgia for the way of life they used to live, and a new household. The hall of children’s creativity arises as the exhibition’s core. Special projects will be exhibited of the cultural platform ‘Izoliatsiya’ (Isolation), ‘Kultura Medialna’ (Mediating Culture) and ‘Odyssey Donbass’ initiatives as well as large-scale installations by Sergiy Petlyuk and Masha Kulikovska.

Among the foreign participants of the exhibition are Richard Ansett, British photographer, author of the photo series ‘Mother and Child’, who will show his new artworks and Marc Wilkins, director of the film Bon Voyage, which won a jury award at the Palm Springs International Shortfilm Festival 2016.
The exhibition will be accompanied by meetings and talks, films and stage plays. For example, the Odessa International Film Festival will present the winner of the Berlin International Film

Festival 2016, Gianfranco Rosi’s Fire at Sea — a film about life on the Italian island of Lampedusa, which became a transit point for refugees from the countries of North Africa. The International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival Docudays UA has prepared a special film programme on migration.

Background information: According to Unicef, approximately 580,000 children have suffered from the conflict in Ukraine. According to the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine, 235,667 children are registered as internally displaced persons, among them — 1,492 orphans and 646 children who were displaced without legally recognised carers. According to The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), as of today, there are approximately 270 collective centres for IDPs, where over 10,000 persons live.
More detailed information about the events will be available on the Facebook event created by the ‘Arsenal’ Facebook page.
Event programme ‘The Palace of Un-Childish Fairy Tails’ as part of the ‘What is your name?’ exhibition
More detailed film programme
Selected events for children
For additional information please contact Ukraine Crisis Media Center by phone +38 (097) 38 97 943 or via email sofin.igor@gmail.com

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