Rome, photography exhibition at the Slaughterhouse shows us Ukraine under arms

Contra Spem Spero: Rome's Slaughterhouse hosts an exhibition featuring works by eleven Ukrainian photographers who share their documentary and artistic projects on life during the period of war in Ukraine, giving the viewer an authentic but never hopeless look.

Pavilion 9b of the Rome Slaughterhouse hosts the photography exhibition CONTRA SPEM SPERO. Stories from Ukraine: eleven Ukrainian photographers(Lyubov Durakova, Nazar Furyk, Kateryna Aleksieienko, Alena Grom, Gera Artemova, Mykhailo Palinchak, Elena Subach, Pavlo Dorohoi, Serhiy Korovainyi, Dmytro Tolkachov, Volodymyr Petrov) share their documentary and artistic projects on life during the war period giving the viewer an authentic but never hopeless look.

The exhibition is curated by Kateryna Radchenko of the OdesaPhoto Days Festival(Odesa, Ukraine), promoted by theAssessorato alla Cultura di Roma Capitale andAzienda Speciale Palaexpo, organized by theEmbassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Italy and theAzienda Speciale Palaexpo together with the representations in Italy of the European Parliament and the European Commission as well as the Embassy ofSpain in Italy, theEmbassy of Sweden in Italy, as the Presidency of the European Council 2023, and theEmbassy of Ukraine in Italy.

Until Aug. 27 in the space of Rome’s Mattatoio await the viewer visual stories ranging from that of the Ukrainian documentary filmmaker who enlisted in the Armed Forces, to that of the people of Kyiv confronting a new “normalcy” in a living space deeply scarred by war, to the personal visual diary of Ukrainian refugees in Poland.

“The war in Ukraine has been raging for nine years and it has been more than a year since Russia launched a large-scale invasion. It is difficult to put into words the complicated mix of feelings felt by Ukrainians. I believe that visual stories can more accurately tell what it means to live in wartime and still keep hope in our hearts,” says curator Kateryna Radchenko.

“We are living a ’Zeitenwende’: The Russian war of aggression marks a momentous change for the whole of Europe. With our partners and allies we defend the order of peace based on international law. That is why we will support Ukraine as long as it is necessary, and that is why Germany supports the creation of an international tribunal to prosecute the Russian government for the crime of aggression,” German Ambassador Viktor Elbling emphasizes.

“Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the European Union’s commitment to the Ukrainian people and Ukrainian artists has been firm and unwavering. The evocative power of these images reinforces even more the will to support the Ukrainian resistance to restore peace in Europe and start the post-conflict recovery in the country,” says the Head of the European Commission’s Representation in Italy, Antonio Parenti.

“The war has struck Europe once again. Russian aggression is unacceptable and illegal. We must tirelessly support Ukraine in its fight for freedom. The European Union stood unanimously for freedom and justice during this war, united we can do great things. We are stronger together!” is Swedish Ambassador Jan Björklund’s exhortation.

“Photography is a material fixation of the terrible images of the war that Russia has started against Ukraine, the war that does not choose certain targets, but destroys everything that can be destroyed: human lives, culture and history of the country. Through tireless resistance and incredible heroism, overcoming the trials of war with dignity, Ukrainians are moving toward a new level of self-awareness, self-identification, statehood, world subjectivity. We thank all those who today, together with the Ukrainian people, are working to stop Russian aggression in the center of Europe,” comments Ukrainian Ambassador Yaroslav Melnyk.

“The war on European soil, the result of Russian aggression against Ukraine, changed our perspective on war conflicts. We had a distant view of the catastrophes of a war that did not directly involve us. Now, stricken by the horrors of war on a brotherly people in the heart of Europe, fixing our gaze on an unjustified act of barbarism and the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people makes us sympathetic in pain and struggle. The raw and direct photography, fixes the desire for life, peace and freedom of a people unjustly attacked,” says Spanish Ambassador Miguel Fernández-Palacios.

The title of the exhibition refers to a text by classical Ukrainian poet Lesia Ukrainka, written in 1890, a monologue by the author proclaiming the spirit of hope and opposition to all problems even in the most difficult circumstances. The exhibition is divided into three parts-the struggle, the hope, and the after-that each speak of the new reality and adaptation to life during the war, the struggle for the country’s existence, the traumatic experiences, and the hope that drives them to continue living.

For all information, you can visit the official Slaughterhouse website.

Pictured: Alena Grom, from Stolen Spring series (2022-2023)

Rome, photography exhibition at the Slaughterhouse shows us Ukraine under arms
Rome, photography exhibition at the Slaughterhouse shows us Ukraine under arms

Warning: the translation into English of the original Italian article was created using automatic tools. We undertake to review all articles, but we do not guarantee the total absence of inaccuracies in the translation due to the program. You can find the original by clicking on the ITA button. If you find any mistake,please contact us.