International Women’s Day

HeForShe Arts Week 2021 in Ukraine: Quarantine measures, online formats, decentralization of artistic events

Date: Monday, March 15, 2021

A 3D mapping on the monument to Princess Olga in Kyiv, which marked the beginning of HeForShe Arts Week 2021. The key image of the installation is the stars, which symbolize the inner flame of all artistic leaders. Photo: UN Women Ukraine
A 3D mapping on the monument to Princess Olga in Kyiv, which marked the beginning of the HeForShe Arts Week 2021. The key image of the installation is the stars, which symbolize the inner flame of all artistic leaders. Photo: UN Women Ukraine

For the fourth time, Ukraine hosted the HeForShe Arts Week – an art marathon that brings together museums, galleries, cinemas and other creative institutions around the themes of gender equality and human rights. Women's leadership and outstanding Ukrainian women artists became the focus of the HeForShe Arts Week 2021, and the slogan was: Inner fire to inspire.

Art Week started on 8 March with a 3D mapping on the monument to Princess Olga in Kyiv. Simultaneously, in support of the HeForShe movement, the National Opera in Kyiv, Dmytro Yavornytsky National Historical Museum in Dnipro and the National Academic Opera and Ballet Theater in Lviv were illuminated in magenta, the campaign’s signature colour. Illuminating significant buildings with the HeForShe movement’s colour has become a strong and recognized tradition in Ukraine.

In addition to the light installations, a giant magenta ribbon with 150 names of prominent Ukrainian female artists – from the past to the present – was installed on the columns of the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in Kyiv.

This year's HeForShe Arts Week art marathon included 29 partner activities, among them film screenings, exhibitions, installations, discussions, book presentations, an interactive game and much more.

The expansion of the events map made the Arts Week 2021 special: Lviv, Chernivtsi, Dnipro, Sievierodonetsk, Zhytomyr, Soledar, Odesa and Kharkiv have joined the marathon with their own activities.

"As a part of the HeForShe Arts Week, we organized a lecture dedicated to Ukrainian women artists. It was important for us to hold this event during the HeForShe Arts Week and become a part of the large project that unites regions on a cultural map,” said Iryna Polikarchuk, Director and Programme curator of the ArtSvit gallery (Dnipro). “As an institution working outside the capital, we appreciate the opportunity to be involved in inter-regional projects, monitor the work of colleagues from other institutions and organize important events ourselves," she said.

A giant magenta ribbon with 150 names of prominent Ukrainian female artists – from the past to the present – was installed on the columns of the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in Kyiv. Photo: UN Women Ukraine
A giant magenta ribbon with 150 names of prominent Ukrainian female artists – from the past to the present – was installed on the columns of the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in Kyiv. Photo: UN Women Ukraine

During the COVID-19 quarantine period, partners’ events became more interactive, and the variety of formats grew. Art lovers could visit the exhibitions ‘Hidden’ in ‘The Naked Room’ gallery and ‘Czech Heroines’ from the Czech Center in Chernivtsi, Kyiv and Zhytomyr. A broad range of audiences had the chance to join online discussions about motherhood from the PinchukArtCentre. They could also watch films from the British Council or the DocuClub network of cinema clubs, and to take part in the interactive art game ‘60. Lost Treasure’” from the Ukrainian Institute.

“Participation at the HeForShe Art Week 2021 was natural for us,” said Evgeniya Nesterovych, Programme Coordinator of the Czech Center. “Last year, in honor of the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage in the Czech Republic, our wonderful international exhibition ‘Czech Heroines’ was created, and we were delighted to present it as a part of the HeForShe movement in Ukraine. It's a pity that the quarantine limited the possibility of the offline meetings, but the online discussion on our page also gathered its listeners and viewers, we mentioned many outstanding women – Czechs and Ukrainians, and we are grateful to the organizers for the opportunity to contribute to the generous programme of the HeForShe Arts Week 2021", she said.

Information about all the events and Woman in Arts Award 2021 can be found on the dedicated website: https://heforsheukraine.info/artsweek2021/