Exhibition and Lecture Series: “Fearless: They Create Feminism in Ukraine. Part I”

Project author and speaker Tamara Martseniuk is standing in front of event visitors

Where does our feminism come from? Researchers and social activists started talking about rights and emancipation back in the ‘80s, but when it comes to feminists, the image that comes to mind is often young women who go radical because “they don’t know what life is like.” In reality, there are several generations of women’s movement working in Ukraine now, from women in their 80s to those in their 20s.

What experience can the activists and the researchers share, what have they been through, what have they achieved? Sociologist Tamara Martseniuk seeks answers to these questions in her project “Fearless: They Create Feminism in Ukraine.” In the series of interviews with Ukrainian feminists, she documents the continuity of the history of Ukrainian feminism since the declaration of independence and until today. This grand initiative unites women and their achievements in the social sector, public administration, international development, the academia and grassroots activism.

Participants of exhibition opening

The exhibition and series of lectures “Fearless: They Create Feminism in Ukraine” tell the story of those 12 heroines whose interviews have already been published on the website Gender in Detail: Svitlana Oksamytna, Tamara Melnyk, Tamara Hundorova, Nataliia Karbovska, Mariana Rubchak, Oksana Diuzher, Marta Chumalo, Ella Lamakh, Marta Bohachevska-Khomiak, Mariia Dmytriieva, Tetiana Isaieva, Oksana Kis.

Relevant observations, sharp criticism and wise advice shared by those outstanding women are accompanied by their portraits by photographer Olena Angelova.

The exhibition opened on March 1 with a lecture by its author Tamara Martseniuk “Ukrainian Feminism from the ‘90s until Today: Those Who Dared to Overcome Fear.”

Event participants taking a selfie in front of the photo project

The exhibition continued until April 11. A catalog of the exhibition can be viewed here.

Several lectures by project heroines took place as part of the exhibition:

— Tetiana Isaieva: “Gender Museum as Documenting Women’s Invisible History and a game Through the Glass Ceiling;

— Oksana Diuzher: “How to Put On Gender-Sensitive Glasses”;

— Marta Chumalo: “Gender-Based Violence: Everything You Wondered about”;

— Ella Lamakh: “Gender-Sensitive Approach and Its Components”;

— Tamara Hundorova: “Feminist Tones in the 1990s Portrait”;

— Nataliia Karbovska: “What Ukrainian Women’s and Feminist Movement Looks Like Today”;

— Mariia Dmytriieva: “Misogyny, Social and Internalized”;

— Svitlana Oksamytna: “Women and Career: Making Your Own or Supporting Your Husband’s?”;

— Oksana Kis: “Ukrainian Women in GULAG: When Surviving Meant Winning”.

Participants of exhibition opening at the reception

Project and exhibition author: Tamara Martseniuk

Exhibition curator: Halyna Kurylo

Project photographer: Olena Angelova

Exhibition designer: Olena Marchyshyna

Exhibition partner: Creative Women Space

The exhibition and lecture series “Fearless: They Create Feminism in Ukraine. Part I” is part of the project Gender in Detail supported by Heinrich Boell Foundation, Kyiv Office — Ukraine.