The “Maria” exhibition will be shown in five cities of Ukraine

10 November 2021

The exhibition “Maria” by the Canadian artist of Ukrainian origin Lesia Marushchak will have held till the 4th of December in the Lviv Historical Museum, Ukrinform reports.

The project is a mobile memorial space commemorating the Holodomor victims of 1932-1933.

At the heart of the project is the image of Maria, a girl who survived the Stalinist genocide decision, unlike millions of victims. The project is inspired by the story of Maria F., a Holodomor survivor who lives in Canada with her family now. Lesia Marushchak received permission to use a photo from the family archive in the project, but the heroine remains anonymous in agreement with her relatives.

“Invisible confrontation, tension, and pressure pervade the exhibition hall space. For example, a photograph depicting an empty bowl and grain, presented in an unusually large format, creates the illusion of accessibility, but the size is so large that it is repulsive and demonstrates unattainability,” curator Kateryna Radchenko tells details about the narrative of the exhibition.

“I wanted to avoid the monolithic language and form of traditional memorials but instead, create an abstract space that would confront the viewer with loss. This project, for me, is also a contribution to the discussion of social justice and human rights. Thanks to international success, “Maria” speaks about the Holodomor to a wider audience with different backgrounds, and her presentation in Ukraine is part of an effort to build a collective memory of the genocide, which had been remained silent for a long time,” said Lesia Marushchak.

“For more than a half-century, the UWC has been fighting for the world’s recognition of the Holodomor as genocide, defending historical truth, and cooperating with Holodomor witnesses and descendants of Holodomor victims.” “Ukraine remembers, and the rest of the world recognizes,” said Serhii Kasianchuk, Director of the UWC Office in Ukraine.

The first exhibition in Ukraine opened in the autumn of 2020 at the National Museum of the Holodomor-Genocide. After Lviv, the exposition will go to Kharkiv, and in total, over the next two years will be demonstrated in five cities of Ukraine.

The project “Maria” has been shown in nine countries; the book based on the project was shortlisted for the Book Prize of the influential international photo festival Rencontres d’Arles in France (2019) and won the award for best design at the International Book Arsenal Festival in Kyiv (2019). In September 2020, The Guardian published a photo from the project “Maria” in an article about the best pictures from the Landskrona festival.