ZKM supports Ukrainian artists with grants

Many cultural workers affected

The ZKM offers Ukrainian artists a scholarship and accommodation. Many other cultural institutions in the country also help in the same way.

Alina Bukina (right) and Tatiana Kochubinska, Ukrainian fellows at the Center for Art and Media.

Photo: Uli Deck/dpa

When war broke out, Tatiana Kochubinska was preparing a major exhibition project. In June, she wanted to work as a curator in the city of Dnipro, eastern Ukraine, implementing Dejan Kaludjerovic’s international art project “Conversations” for Ukraine. Children from different places should talk about their fears and desires.

The sound installations with children’s voices were intended to show ways of peaceful coexistence despite all the differences. “I had big plans,” says the 36-year-old Kyiv. Their dreams were shattered on February 24 with the Russian attack on Ukraine. Just like that of the 29-year-old artist Alina Bukina.

The two women are a bit lost in front of the ZKM in Karlsruhe. The Media Art Center accepted her as a fellow. Just like three other Ukrainian artists and a media artist who fled Russia. They receive 1,000 euros per month for six months, accommodation and a room to work.

Artist Alina Bukina wants to raise awareness of Ukrainian art

“It’s a great opportunity,” says illustrator Alina Bukina, who has made a name for herself with delicate one-line, face and sketch series. She left all her work behind. Somewhere safe, she hopes. She wishes to take advantage of her stay abroad to promote Ukrainian art and artists. “I also help my country.”

The ZKM has long supported politically threatened artists and works with “Artists at Risk”. The network organizes stays in cultural institutions. Internationally, more than 300 institutions have offered their help, in Germany there are currently 35, including the ZKM, the Haus der Kunst in Munich and the art associations in Stuttgart and Munich.

50 other institutions are expected thanks to the cooperation with the Goethe-Institut. Over 600 artists from Ukraine and 240 opposition artists from Russia and Belarus have asked for help from Artists at Risk since the start of the war.

The Badisches Landestheater Karlsruhe also offers assistance

About twenty trips were made throughout the country via the network. But the number of Ukrainian guest artists should be much higher. Many things happen through private contacts, cooperations or other programs. For example, the international artists’ house Villa Concordia in Bamberg supports twelve Ukrainian artists with 1,500 euros for five months.

More than 70 theaters and cultural institutions in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein are also offering their support, including the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, the Berliner Ensemble, the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus and the Thalia Theater Hamburg.

The Hamburg Ballet John Neumeier welcomed ten Ukrainian children aged 6 to 15 until Easter. Twelve other children are planned. “Rest assured that we will do everything we can to help these people,” says ballet boss Neumeier. 16 Ukrainian children have found refuge at the Cranko school in Stuttgart. Dancers from Russia and Ukraine are attracted to the Staatsballett in Berlin. Director Christiane Theobald counted 200 requests before Easter. “Dancers need opportunities to practice,” she says. It should be made possible.

One million euros in emergency aid was provided to journalists who had fled

The Sprengel Museum Hannover offers Ukrainian and Russian artists a platform with an Instagram takeover under the hashtag #takeover. The Federal Acting Association (BFFS) helps others with job search via “new-start.media”. And Minister of State Claudia Roth (Greens) is providing €1 million in emergency aid to journalists who have fled Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. Possibilities are currently being explored to increase scholarship programs for media professionals and to support new projects, according to the company.

War and politics are too relevant to be left to military and professional politicians.

Peter Weibel, director of the ZKM

ZKM director Peter Weibel, born in Odessa in 1944 and whose biography has been shaped by the war and its consequences, thinks: “War and politics are too relevant to be left to military and professional politicians. Art tries to heal the wounds inflicted by politics and the army. The ZKM is in contact with other artists, explains senior curator Philipp Ziegler.

Ukrainian artist fears for her family and her boyfriend

Alina Bukina considers herself lucky to be able to work at ZKM. She does not know what will become of the work she left behind. She fears it will be destroyed. But she fears even more for the Ukrainians, her boyfriend, her family. Horror there and normality here can hardly be reconciled for them. “I feel guilty for not being in Ukraine,” says the 29-year-old from Zaporizhia. “I can’t describe the pain.” Your drawings will speak for it.

We should have been louder.

Tatiana Kochubinska, Ukrainian artist

Tatiana Kochubinska is also torn between gratitude to be able to live without fear and to be welcomed in a friendly way and the thought of home. The former curator of the kyiv Art Center PinchukArtCentre has always wanted to work at ZKM. “But not in these sad circumstances.” She feels helpless and blames herself: there has been war in Donbass, eastern Ukraine, since 2014. But it only became visible when the current war reached the borders of Ukraine. EU. “We should have been louder,” she says.

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