Ukraine art on display as Hackney celebrates Ukrainian talent

Artists Dasha Podoltseva and Elena Orap (Photo credit Elena Michajlowska)

A short season of events and exhibitions will showcase the work of Ukrainian artists, authors and musicians in Hackney, throughout June 2023. 

In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Hackney has welcomed many Ukrainians to the borough, through the Council’s Homes for Ukraine initiative.

The  exhibition at the heart of the season is called Fragile Brutalism and explores the notion of home, by Ukrainian artists, Dasha Podoltseva and Elena Orap. The exhibition forms part of the London Festival of Architecture, a month-long celebration of architecture which aims to open up discussions around city design and promote new talent. 

The season will include a storytelling and craft workshop for families hosted by Ukrainian speaking library staff at Shoreditch Library.

Ukraine season programme:

Fragile Brutalism exhibition - Three artworks explore the notion of home, at De Beauvior Estate, on a billboard at Kingsland Road (junction with Enfield Road), and at 160 Old Street, from 12-30 June. 

Story-telling for children and poster-making - Children aged 5+ and their families are invited to take part in a celebration of Ukranian stories and a poster-making workshop exploring what ‘home’ means, at Shoreditch Library on 6 June, 4-5.30pm.

(Un)Common trajectories: Post-war modernist housing in Ukraine and the UK - A discussion exploring the shared and divergent experiences of modernist social housing in the UK and Ukraine, including its history, present and possible future on 13 June, 6-9pm.

Notions of home and loss in times of war and peace - An informal, drop-in community event with Ukrainian music and food to reflect on what is happening in Ukraine, and explore what ‘home’ means, how it feels to be confronted with the reality or threat of its loss, and what we share in terms of our ideas of home.

With the tragic events taking place in Ukraine since Russia's invasion, Hackney is very proud to have welcomed many Ukrainian people to the borough. As a borough of sanctuary, Hackney has a long history of being a welcoming destination for new arrivals in the UK. The borough wouldn’t be the diverse and culturally rich place it is today if it wasn’t for those people who left their countries to make Hackney their home. Through this Ukraine season we have the pleasure to learn more about the lives and culture of our Ukrainian guests.

Cllr Chris Kennedy, Cabinet Member for Health, Adult Social Care, Leisure and Culture

As part of Refugee Week (19-25 June) Hackney Museum will also host a series of free school sessions for Hackney primary schools, exploring the stories of people who have been forced to leave their home and seek safety.

Notes to editors

For more information on all Ukraine season events go to: www.lovehackney.uk/ukraine-season

More information on the Fragile Brutalism events, part of the London Festival of Architecture, can be found here (13 June) and here (15 June). The work focuses on the importance and the fragility of home. The artists reflect on Ukrainian modernist prefabricated buildings known as "panelki", whose destruction has become a powerful symbol of the brutality endured by civilians during the Russian-Ukrainian war. The exhibition aims to encourage reflection on what we share across borders, when it comes to notions of home and the threat of its loss.

More information on Refugee week can be found here. Hackney Museum will be marking the week with a series of free school sessions for Hackney primary schools, in which the personal stories of those forced to leave their home and seek safety will allow pupils to consider what they can do to make newcomers feel welcome.

The Ukraine season project is supported by Hackney Council, School of Architecture and Cities (University of Westminster), Stephen Taylor Architects, MAPP, Old Street Partnership Ltd and Humdingers Catering.