“Naodyntsi” (Alone). Photo exhibition dedicated to the wives of fallen Heroes
From April 27 to 30, 2023, the Holodomor Museum hosted a photo exhibition, “Alone”. This project is designed to support thousands of Ukrainian women and men who lost their loved ones in the war.
The photo project was initiated and implemented by the Memorial platform. The project team collects data on civilians and military killed in the war, and does everything to preserve the memory of every person whose life was taken by the Russian military.
“The National Museum of the Holodomor-genocide collects witnesses’ testimonies of the genocides of the Ukrainian people. Personal stories of Ukrainian heroes: those who survived, who fought, who saved and survived. All of them are our story of heroism, which continues today also through the mission of the Memorial platform,” says Maryna Bohush, deputy head of the exposition and exhibition department of the National Museum of the Holodomor-genocide.
The author of the photo project – Kateryna Moskaliuk, a journalist and documentary photographer. Before the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine began, she had worked with sensitive topics. Now, she documents the consequences of the war.
“My photo project tells the stories of five women from different cities of Ukraine, whose military men died in the war. These are stories about love and loss, about tenderness and pain. Women talked about their favourite places where they liked to spend time with their husbands, showed things that remind them of their loved ones and how they try to live on. My photo project is about women whose husbands chose not their lives, but our lives with you,” Katia says.
Kateryna’s works have been published in GEO, Bloomberg Businessweek, Die Zeit, Bird in Flight, The Ukrainians, Ukraїner, Evacuation. City, Zaborona, Kunst, Forbes Ukraine and others, as well as presented at international exhibitions in Ukraine, the USA, Great Britain, Denmark , Japan, Hong Kong, Cyprus, Armenia and others.
“Alone” tells about the fate of five women who lost their husbands in the war:
– Ksenia Biriukova from Kharkiv lost her husband Mykhailo Mitusov in August 2022.
-Anhelina Popsuy from Dnipro lost her husband Oleksandr Popsuy in October 2022.
-Indira Baranetska from Odesa lost her husband Viacheslav Baranetsky in September 2022.
-Maria Onyshchenko from Kyiv lost her husband Andrii Onyshchenko in July 2022.
-Yeva Fialka from Lviv lost her husband Dmytro Fialka in September 2022.
“I got a tattoo with the dates of my husband’s birth and death to somehow fill this void,” Yeva from Lviv says. “His ring is always with me. When our daughter grows up, I will pass it on to her,” Ksenia from Kharkiv says. “Traces of his blood remained on the military medallion,”Anhelina from Dnipro says. “I made a pendant with his name, that’s how I feel his presence,” says Maria from Kyiv. “This cup remembers the warmth of his hands and the touch of his lips,” Indira from Odessa recalls.
“The war is taking away their loved ones from thousands of Ukrainians. On the shoulders of widows and widowers fall the responsibilities that they previously shared with their partners. Our great social task is to learn to hear and support people who have lost loved ones,” the editor-in-chief of the Memorial, Anastasia Abramets, says.
“Ukrainian resistance is a feature of our character that was carved out over years and decades under the pressure of external circumstances. This challenge has always been the same: when the Ukrainian lands were occupied by the Bolsheviks in the 1920s, they set themselves the goal of destroying Ukrainianness – our culture, our everyday life, way of life, thinking – ourselves. We were to become part of their system. The very existence of Ukrainians was at stake, so of course we resisted. In the 1930s, thousands of women and men, together and alone, with weapons or what could become weapons in their hands, resisted the enemy in every possible way. Unfortunately, the Holodomor of 1932-33, a genocide that made physical survival impossible for millions, was able to suppress Ukrainian resistance. But not its idea. Today it is relevant and important again. The same enemy is Russia. And the Ukrainian resistance continues,” Maryna Bohush, deputy head of the exposition and exhibition department of the National Museum of the Holodomor-genocide, thinks.