So Sweet Ukraine is an online exhibition featuring contemporary Ukrainian photographers. The exhibition is based on two curatorial selections by curator Kateryna Radchenko for the Odesa Photo Days Festival. The idea for the festival was born in 2014, the same year as the Revolution of Dignity and the war that followed. Since then, the festival has coexisted with war.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began in February 2022, now threatens the existence of the Ukrainian culture, amongst all else. Along with devastating human suffering, war is an aggression against people and their culture, language and freedom. Young Ukrainians have been brought up in a sovereign country with freedom of expression. What would photography be without it?
The exhibition features seven artists selected by Kateryna Rodchenko, with one addition, Maxim Dondyuk. Yana Kononova, Rita Niki, Olena Morozova, Ira Lupu, Olia Koval, and Kristina Sagirova have photographed their home country. Their subjects are fragile, delicate, and humane – feelings, people, and things that disappear in conflict. Donduyk’s work captures the unrest of The Revolution of Dignity and the traces of war in Eastern Ukraine. The two series complement each other, the dark nightly images of the conflict and the snow-covered landscapes of ruin. The religious symbolism in the wood-printed images by Yulia Kysil are a reminder of the rhetoric of the revolution.
So Sweet Ukraine has been named after a visual story and selection of photographs, which are available on this video. The video was originally seen at the Odesa Photo Days Festival in 2020. The images below present the works selected for this exhibition.
The staff at The Finnish Museum of Photography strictly condemn the Russian attack on Ukraine.