Five feminist zines and artbooks about war


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We see the way contemporary art responds to the Russian-Ukrainian war. Ukrainian artists work with various stories of different people, living through those personal experiences, which is reflected in the people’s works. Besides, Ukrainian artists work on war topics together with foreign artists and international organizations. We see the results of this cooperation at exhibitions both in Ukraine and abroad.


Here are five feminist zines and art books about the war that appeared in 2023 as the result of exhibitions, and as individual works.



Collective Fantasies and Eastern Resources (2023)



Kateryna Aliynyk and Natasha Chychasova tell the story of the long-term Russian occupation of Luhansk and Donetsk. The war came to the authors’ hometowns in the spring of 2014. Texts and dialogue are united by the experience of losing homes, traveling to the occupied territories, and constantly rummaging in their own memories and lost landscapes. The idea to create a zine came to the authors during the residency “When Was the Narrative Interrupted?” in December-January 2022-23, and it was first shown at the exhibition “A Tree Behind a Tree” at the Assortment Room gallery in January 2023 in Ivano-Frankivsk. The English version was published in Palermo by 89books.


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Undercurrents (2023)



This is a collaborative publication by Ukrainian, German and Polish artists about the experience of war in Ukraine. It was curated by Oliver Doherty, Maryna Marynchenko, Valeria Karpan, and Valeria Zubatenko. The publication was released as part of the feminist laboratory project, Her Gaze, initiated by the Goethe-Institut in Ukraine and the Feminist Workshop. Artist Nastia Theor was the designer. Authors and artists featured in the publication are: Anna Ivanenko & Yevheniia Polosina (seri/graph), Magdalena Kashuba, Maria Kinovych, Marlene Kraus, Olena Kurzel, Olha Lisovska, Amanda Priebe, Joanna Skupińska, Ola Wasilewska and Sasha Kokhan.


You can download the zine here



STDP: Second Time Displaced Person (2023)



“STDP: Second Time Displaced Person” is a publishing project by seri/graf studio and Mariia Zivert. The artbookconsists of stories and interviews in the form of comics with five individuals who, looking for shelter from Russian aggression, became internally displaced people in 2014. In 2022, they again found themselves in a similar situation, and they were leaving their newly established lives behind. The authors say that the main idea of this edition is to tell the stories of people who are living witnesses of the war that has been going on in Ukraine for 9 years. The book is bilingual, and its main goal is to share the stories with international audiences.


See the edition online



Whispers And Shouts. Voices of Ukrainian Women Photographers (2023)



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To commemorate the anniversary of the full-scale invasion, the Museum of Modern And Contemporary Art in the Netherlands and the Feminist Workshop published a catalog of Ukrainian photography Whispers And Shouts. Voices of Ukrainian Women Photographers. The catalog brings together the views of Ukrainian women photographers on everyday life in the midst of the Russian-Ukrainian war. It features the works of Yana Kononova, Kateryna Motyliova, Katya Lesiv, Daryna Yudina, Olena Morozova, Karin Versluis and representatives of the school of young Mykolaiv photography. The photographs tell personal stories of displacement, unification of families, exploration of family roots and their experience of being a mother during the war.



Hometown. Ruslana Klyuchko (2023)



Hometown is a visual trip through a provincial town and the stories of its people across several generations. Every chapter reflects a certain aspect of this trip.


The first chapter highlights the change of generations, childhood and life cycles. The second chapter is dedicated to trying to follow the trails of the family archive, and the third is about ‘la dolce vita.’ Each chapter is accompanied by a 3D model which can be viewed by scanning the QR-code on the cover of the book. All photos were taken in the town of Druzhba, Sumy region.


Ruslana Klyuchko, the author of Hometown, graduated from the National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture with a degree in book graphics and illustration. The artist uses etching, monoprint, collage and animation. She is a nominee of the Best Book Design competition from the Book Arsenal and the Goethe-Institut in Ukraine, lives and works in Kyiv.




Translated by Iryna Savyuk
Edited by Olena Pankevych, Nicole Yurcaba



This article was prepared as part of Her Gaze project.
English translation was carried out within the framework of institutional support of Chytomo by the Ministry of Culture and Media of Germany


Her Gaze is implemented by the Goethe-Institut Ukraine and the Feminist Workshop with the support of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany.