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How NGOs work during the war Episode 2. Olha Balashova
01.06.2022
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3min
How NGOs work during the war Episode 2. Olha Balashova
People. Leadership and management. Culture
Olga Balashova, a graduate of the School of Strategic Architect kmbs, has been fighting on the cultural front since the beginning of the war. After all, he will also determine our future - after the inevitable victory! - a place in the world. Many results on other fronts will depend on how Ukraine will be represented in the public art space.

Olga is a co-founder of the Museum of Contemporary Art (NGO MOKA), established in 2020. It brought together art and expert community representatives who care about contemporary art in Ukraine and need a new quality museum institution. And now, the NGO is dealing with another topical issue - the promotion of Ukrainian art.

Together with her colleagues, Olga launched several initiatives. One of them is the creation of the Ukrainian Extraordinary Art Foundation (#UEAF), which aims to help artists in the occupied territories and immigrants continue to create. In two months, the fund raised almost UAH 3 million, of which institutions and 33% of individuals provided 65%.

In particular, Olena Volkova, a professor at Stevenson University in Kyiv, held an auction in Baltimore on April 24, to which local artists donated their work. Olena transferred all the proceeds - more than 10 thousand dollars - to the #UEAF fund.

The fund distributed all the funds raised among 415 artists who used such assistance during the war. For example, thanks to these funds, designer Yasya Khomenko, who was forced to move from Kyiv to Poland, was able to continue working on her collection. She shared: "The support of #Ukrainian_art_of_extreme_aid_help helped a lot, which allowed to purchase materials for the project and partially closes the issue of technical equipment… Because buying equipment from scratch is quite an expensive pleasure."

Olga and her colleagues are still collecting the Wartime Art Archive. It includes works born after February 24 and which artists share on social networks. Several projects have emerged from this archive: Piazza Ukraina in Venice and Postcards from the War in Hamburg. The NGO is working on an exhibition for the World Bank in Washington, D.C., and will soon open a show in Kyiv at The Naked Room and invite everyone who is currently in the capital.

Thanks to the International Renaissance Foundation, the team of the Ukrainian NGO MOCA was able to attend the 59th Venice Biennale of Contemporary Art. And later, she shared her impressions: "In dozens and maybe hundreds of small conversations we had over the past week, we answered questions about Ukraine that our interlocutors were thinking about for the first time in their lives. We talked about the appropriation of our art by Moscow - from the times of Kievan Rus to recent times. The example of Pavel Makov, whom the Russians considered the "South Russian Wave," was no less impressive than the original origin of the famous icon of the Vladimir Mother of God from Vyshgorod. Europeans have no idea about the age-old integration of Ukrainian art into the European context. We have never heard of the Ukrainian version of the Baroque style, Boychuk, Krychevsky, and Murashko, who were Ukrainian Europeans in spirit and school. "

So, the NGO still has a lot of work to do. As Olga wrote on her Facebook page: "Do you also think that our fighters on the cultural front are the same Armed Forces who did not have weapons? The weapon is already working, and the result will not be delayed! We will win together. "

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