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[new]kraine

A project by Julia Ovcharenko

Host organization: KuBaSta e.V. Hamburg

September and October 2009, showroom in Markstraße 102, Hamburg (Germany)

The exhibition curator's goal was to bring images of Ukraine that are distributed throughout Western Europe into confrontation with work by young photographers. In the framework of the exhibition “[new]kraine,” thirty photographs of and from Ukraine, some of which were large-format, gave visitors a new perspective on the country. Works by young Ukrainian photographers such as Kyrylo Gorishnyj, Oleksij Kasianov, Julia Andrusiv, and the Hamburg-based artist Maik Freudenberg were on display. At the opening, the band "Polka Express" played ska polka.

Beyond post-Soviet trash and travel guide clichés, the photographs revealed a range of realities, conveying an impression of what everyday life is like for 46 million Ukrainians, what makes them happy, and, in the face of everything else, what makes them so full of life, optimistic, and humorous.

Images of Ukraine from the outside contrast strongly with those from within: What is colorful and interesting to Ukrainians can appear dreary and bleak to foreigners; what is banal for the one is deeply moving for the other. In this exhibition, the much-cited "intercultural dialogue" was not just a catch phrase; it also drew from personal experiences of the curator Julia Owtscharenko, a Ukrainian who lived in Hamburg.

With support from: Robert Bosch Stiftung, Bund der ukrainischen Studenten in Deutschland e.V., Consulate General of Ukraine in Hamburg
Photos: Maik Freudenberg, Kyrylo Gorishnyj