A History of Ukraine in 12 Artworks

A History of Ukraine in 12 Artworks

✨ In this instalment of Linacre Cultural Seminars, you are invited to decode the dynamics of power, gender, and sexuality behind some of Ukraine’s most iconic art with Myroslava Hartmond.

Drawing on her decade-long research into soft power and the transformation of the post-Soviet public space, Myroslava considers the history of Ukraine through 12 famous artworks.

From the ancient stone guardians of the steppes, to the Byzantine Virgin Orans of St Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery, to Taras Shevchenko’s ‘Kateryna’ (painted to accompany his anti-colonial lyrical poem of the same name), to the Soviet monumental sculpture Mother Motherland that towers over Kyiv – the female form has long been used as a symbol of Ukrainian political and cultural identity. Yet women also helped to shape Ukraine’s visual legacy, which includes a notably high proportion of world-renowned women artists — Marie Bashkirtseff, Sonia Delauney, Maria Prymachenko, and others.

A glance at the contemporary art scene, including the work of artists displaced by war, concludes the talk.

Myroslava Hartmond (Oxford Department of International Development, University of Oxford) is a British Ukrainian researcher, curator, and writer. Between 2014 and 2022, she ran the Triptych gallery in Kyiv’s Andriyivskyy Uzviz. Myroslava holds an MPhil in International Relations from the University of Oxford, was Research Associate at Oxford’s Centre for International Studies (2014-2017), and is currently programme coordinator of ‘Refugee Academic Futures’ at the University of Oxford, which includes the first-ever sanctuary scholarship for Ukrainians.

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