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Open Eye hosts major Ukrainian Photography show

Open Eye Gallery is staging a major exhibition of images from 17 Ukrainian photographers that give a glimpse of life at 'home'.

Home. Perspectives, running from May 4-21 at the Mann Island gallery, is part of the cultural programme surrounding the Eurovision Song Contest which Liverpool is hosting on behalf of last year's winners Ukraine.

The show seeks to highlight the vibrancy, creativity and diversity of contemporary Ukrainian photography with those taking part showcasing distinctive approaches to portraying their war-torn homeland.

Two of its curators, Viktoria Bavykina and Max Gorbatskyi, say: “We believe the visibility of Ukrainian culture is vital for its decolonisation, which, in turn, is a prerequisite for securing our identity and the right to own our history and future.

“The exhibition has been created in a dialogue between the Ukrainian, European and British photography sectors and presents diverse approaches to work with the photographic medium and different perspectives on Ukraine's past and present.”

They add: “When preparing this project, we realised Ukrainian photography is very home centred in the sense that through their photographs, the authors, in one way or another, talk about their home, their own Ukraine.”

The featured photographers are: Valentine Bo, Igor Chekachkov, Alexander Chekmenev, Andrii Dostliev and Lia Dostlieva, Sasha Kurmaz and Sasha Burlaka, Viktor Marushchenko, Evgeniy Pavlov, Victoria Pidust, Viacheslav Poliakov, Polina Polikarpova, Andriy Rachynskiy, Anton Shebetko, Yaroslav Solop, Elena Subach and Daria Svertilova.

The exhibition is part of the wider Home programme produced by Open Eye Gallery, Ukrainian photographers and partners across the City Region and commissioned by Culture Liverpool as part of the city’s EuroFestival.

The programme also includes Home. Resistance at the Williamson Art Gallery and Museum in Birkenhead, Home. Land at Norton Priory at Runcorn, Home. Making at Kirkby Gallery, Home. Liberty at the Unity Theatre and Home. Settings at The Atkinson.

Meanwhile Home. Diptychs features six of the Ukrainian photographers telling their stories about home through images, and six UK poets (Deryn Rees-Jones, Jackie Kay, James Conor Patterson, John Hegley, Hanan Issa and Roger McGough, curated by the National Poetry Library) responding with a short poem. These diptychs will be based in public spaces and on Merseyrail sites.

Home. Perspectives is at the Open Eye Gallery on Mann Island from May 4-21.

Top: Photo by Igor Chekachkov, from the Daily Lives of the Displaced series, Lviv, Ukraine, 2022


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