University to host international symposium on Ukrainian photography

Categories: Research, School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology

The University of Salford through its established partnership with Open Eye Gallery is honoured to host an international symposium next month to celebrate the work of contemporary Ukrainian photography.

Academic researchers, art practitioners and photographers from Ukraine and abroad have been invited to a two-day event at the New Adelphi Theatre on Monday 4 and Tuesday 5 March to shed light on and discuss the variety of practices shaping photography in Ukraine.

Funded by the UK/UA Creative Partnerships programme designed by the British Council and the Ukrainian Institute, the symposium will focus on documentary photography as a decolonial practice and its capability to capture historic events. It will also aim to establish a network of internationally leading curators and researchers interested in working with Ukrainian photography and visual culture.

The free event is curated by Kateryna Filyuk, a researcher and PhD candidate at the University of Palermo and Bibliotheca Hertziana Fellow with speakers and panelists attending from the University of Oxford, Birbeck, University of London, University of Brno and Ukrainian.Photographies, Klaipėda’s Department of Lithuanian Photograph Association, the Odesa Photo Days International Festival of Contemporary Photography, the First Kyiv Biennale of Contemporary Art and the Ukrainian public TV channel Suspilne Culture.

Its panels will touch on the following themes; “It wasn’t that long ago” – Kyiv in architectural photography, “The truth of life” in Soviet photo reportage, Kharkiv School of Photography as Ukrainian Postmodernism, Contemporary Photography and Photo-Related Art Practices in Ukraine, Curating and Researching Photography from Ukraine, Alexander Chekmenev: From Local Story to Global History and Transformation of the Photography during the wartime.

Sam Ingleson, Associate Dean: Enterprise and Engagement at the School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology, said: “The University through its established partnership with Open Eye Gallery is honoured to be chosen as the venue for this international symposium that brings together leading figures from Ukrainian photography and visual culture together as we widen international awareness and understanding about this subject.

“I would urge all academics, photographers or those with an interest in Ukrainian culture and photography to seek to attend this event and learn more about how this medium is being used to capture the nation’s voice during this time in its history.”

Kateryna Filyuk said: “As a scholar and a curator who engages with photography in Ukraine, I see growing interest in the subject shadowed by the lack of institutional infrastructure that can facilitate knowledge production and dissemination. I hope the symposium will provide a platform for discussion and create a network of theorists and practitioners interested in exploring this almost uncharted territory.”

Anastasiia Manuliak, Head of Visual Art at the Ukrainian Institute, said: “We are delighted to continue our collaboration with Open Eye Gallery and NGO Ukrainian Photography in the framework of Home exhibition, showcasing distinguished examples of Ukrainian photography.

“During Russia’s war in Ukraine, art and culture have become the fulcrum of social resistance, with photography playing an exception role as a medium that both reflects and captures the essence of the times. The symposium programme specifically focuses on Ukrainian documentary photographers, aiming to provide a deeper understanding not only of the evolution and trends in Ukrainian photography but also of the social and historical context of Ukrainian art.”

For those unable to attend in person, the symposium will be live streamed via Open Eye Gallery’s YouTube channel.

Alongside the main symposium, the University is also hosting a number of events in the New Adelphi Building:

  • The building’s atrium will display the Home exhibition on its first stop of the Arts Council England-funded UK tour, with a launch event on Monday 4 March from 6pm to 7.30pm. This will showcase the work of 15 Ukrainian photographers that reveal the Ukrainian’s current experience and the fundamental human values that underpin our idea of ‘home.’ Home from Home, an accompanying film to the exhibition will screen from Monday 4 March to Friday 8 March in the building’s exhibition space.
  • A documentary screening of the film Glyadyelov, will be shown in the New Adelphi Theatre on Tuesday 5 March at 4.20pm with a special introduction from directors Ksenia Kravtsova and Vladyslav Nechyporenko.
  • A book, ‘Home’, curated by Ukrainian.Photographies’ Viktoria Bavykina and Max Gorbatskyi, which featured photographs and commission poems from various symposium participants, the University of Salford Art Collection’s lead Lindsay Taylor and Professor Jackie Kay CBE, will be available to purchase at the New Adelphi Box Office.

Tickets are available to acquire for the event at Eventbrite.

For all press office enquiries please email communications@salford.ac.uk.