The traveling exhibition “On the Break” returned to the capital: where to see

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The goal of the project, launched back in 2019, is to rethink the topic of the war in Ukraine and the impact of the armed conflict on the civilian population.

The other day, in the Great Belfry of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, an updated exhibition “At the Break” was opened, which tells about the changes in various aspects of the life of the civilian population, starting in 2014, as a result of the war in Donbas.

The exhibition has been traveling around the country since 2019 and has visited more than 37 cities in different parts of Ukraine during this time. In particular, in the “Golden Gate” museum in Kyiv, the first museum of the ATO in Dnipro, in the hall of Luhansk Oblast VCA in Severodonetsk, museums and libraries in Khmelnytskyi, Kropyvnytskyi, Vinnytsia, Druzhkivka, Cherkassy, ‚Äč‚ÄčKramatorsk, Rivne and other cities.

Now the exhibition has returned to Kyiv and was presented in an updated format. She draws attention to the transition from peaceful life to wartime, sexual violence during the war, the problems of finding relatives who have gone missing. “Na Zlami” also raises the issue of restoring justice for the victims.

“It is very symbolic to open the traveling exhibition “At the Break” in the walls of the Great Lavra bell tower, because for the last year it has also served as a shelter during air raids. The war has been ravaging our lands for the tenth year already, so the issues raised in the exhibition were relevant even before the full-scale invasion, and now they are gaining even more meaning…”, he notes Konstantin Krayniy, deputy general director for scientific work, National Reserve “Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra”.

Valery Sokolov survived being captured by terrorists from the DNR. Photo: “Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra”

The exhibition consists of 18 information stands, each of which is dedicated to one of the problems – “breaks”: social phenomena that, in our opinion, influenced the development of the conflict and gradually separate people from each other.

Exhibition stands are double-sided. On one side, there are excerpts from the stories of people with whom documentaries of human rights organizations recorded interviews.

Ms. Halyna spoke about the horrors she experienced during last year’s occupation of Kyiv region. Photo: “Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra”

The interviewees are people who have suffered from shelling, those who have been persecuted by illegal armed groups and subjected to illegal imprisonment for their active public stance, ideological beliefs and religious beliefs. Victims describe the events that happened to them, talk about their feelings, share reflections on what they experienced.

Valery Sokolov, a representative of the NGO “December 29” (association of former prisoners) emphasized the need to release from captivity civilians who have been there for several years and have health problems.

“Illegally imprisoned Ukrainians are forced to write statements about the consideration of fabricated cases against them under Russian legislation, in order to make impossible any attempt by Ukraine to exchange them,” said Mr. Valery.

Ukrainians who suffered from the war tell their life stories. Photo: “Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra”

Human rights activists pointed to another problem related to captivity – sexual and gender-based violence. Halyna, the victim, representative of the NGO “SEMA UKRAINE”, a network of women who suffered from gender and sexual violence as a result of the war in Ukraine, told about the terrible sexual crimes of the Russian occupiers.

Ludmila Bilenka, the mother of the missing volunteer Roman, a member of the Association of Families of the Missing “Nadia” also told her story, said that she and the families of the missing currently put their hope in the International Coalition of the Missing, which proposes to create a bank of DNA samples in Ukraine for relatives of the missing.

The visitors could not contain their emotions after hearing the stories of war victims. Photo: “Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra”

The presentation of the exhibition “On the Break” took place within the framework of the project “Enhancing the capabilities of civil society for the transformation of the culture of memory – a non-violent contribution to countering Russian aggression”, which is implemented by the public organizations Kurve Wustrow (Germany) and Eastern Ukrainian Center for Public Initiatives (Ukraine) together with partners with the support of the Federal Government of Germany.

The deputy chairman was among the guests Pechersk district state administration in the city of Kyiv Anatoly Nevmerzhytskyi and the head of the culture department Diana Marynych, representatives of the Office of the VRU Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as speakers whose stories can be seen on the stands – former prisoners, persons who have experienced sexual violence, relatives of missing persons, volunteers.

When: until May 8, 2023, every day from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Where: The Great Lavra Belfry of the National Reserve “Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra”, Lavrska Street, 9

Later, she will again continue her journey through different cities of Ukraine.

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