When Russia began its war against Ukraine in 2014, Halyna Vykhovanska the director of the Children’s School of Folk Arts (Дитяча Школа Народних Мистецтв) in Lviv, Ukraine was asked to give her students (ages 6-14) an assignment.
The children were to think of the following statements while reacting in the form of a painting/drawing in a specifically sized format. What does it mean to be Ukrainian? How do you feel about Russia? How do you feel about what is going on?
The artwork on display at this exhibit was created by children 8 years ago. It provides a small glimpse into the ways that a child processes violence, hate, war, nationality, sovereignty, national identity, and family. It offers their interpretation of what they see around them—how adults act and speak around them and how their families teach them about the importance of their roots. Eight years ago these children were informing us about Ukraine’s future, as well as our future. Today they are witnessing the atrocity that this war has turned into.
Images of Our Future is an exhibition of children's wartime artwork from 2014 on view at the Ukrainian League of Philadelphia March 2022. All proceeds will be donated to Ukrainian Humanitarian Relief.
Sponsored by the Ukrainian League of Philadelphia, ULP Cultural Trust, Inc., and the Ukrainian Community Foundation of Philadelphia.