1st Edition

Art in Ukraine Between Identity Construction and Anti-Colonial Resistance

Edited By Svitlana Biedarieva Copyright 2025
    206 Pages 20 Color & 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This edited volume traces the development of art practices in Ukraine from the 2004 Orange Revolution, through the 2013-14 Revolution of Dignity, to the ongoing Russian war of aggression.

    Contributors explore how transformations of identity, the emergence of participatory democracy, relevant changes to cultural institutions, and the realization of the necessity of decolonial release have influenced the focus and themes of contemporary art practices in Ukraine. Chapters analyze such important topics as the postcolonial retrieval of the past, the deconstruction of post-Soviet visualities, representations of violence and atrocities in the ongoing Russian war against Ukraine, and the notion of art as a mechanism of civic resistance and identity-building.

    The book will be of interest to scholars of art history, Eastern European studies, cultural studies, decolonial studies, and postcolonial studies.

    Preface: Vitaly Chernetsky (University of Kansas) 

    Introduction: Svitlana Biedarieva (University of Zurich) 

    PART I. 


    1. Ksenia Nouril (The Print Center, Philadelphia). Antagonism and  Revolutionary Aesthetics: Ukrainian Contemporary Art between  the Orange Revolution and Euromaidan 

    2. Asia Bazdyrieva (Critical Media Lab Basel). Field Notes on  Subjectivity: Art, War, Articulation

    3. Jessica Zychowicz (Fulbright Ukraine, Institute of International  Education). From “The Ukraine Question” and “The Woman Question” to Self-Determination: Revisiting 1920-30s Mass Politics, Revolution, and War in Today’s Ukraine

    PART II. 


    4. Oleksandra Osadcha (Museum of Kharkiv School of Photography).  (de)Construction of “Post-Soviet” Visualities in Contemporary  Ukrainian Photography  

    5. Alisa Lozhkina (Central European University). Large-Scale Exhibitions and Identity Building in Ukraine in the Late 2000s - Early 2010s 

    6. Ewa Sułek (Nicolaus Copernicus University). Observing the Bodies: Examination of the Human Experience of War and Trauma.

    7. Kateryna Filyuk (University of Palermo). Ukrainian photographers opting for truth: From Soviet documentary photography to Russo-Ukrainian war images.

    PART III. 


    8. Illia Levchenko (Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv).  Rethinking (Post-)Soviet Landscape through Decolonial Art Practices, 2014-2022

    9. Kateryna Botanova (Culturescapes, Basel). Becoming Local:  Decolonial Practices in Visual Arts in Post-Maidan Ukraine 

    10. Svitlana Biedarieva (University of Zurich). From Postcolonial Past to Decolonial Future: Ukrainian Art in the Ages of Revolution and Resistance (2014-2024)


    Svitlana Biedarieva is an art historian, artist, and curator. In 2022/23, she was selected as the George F. Kennan Fellow at the Kennan Institute, Wilson Center, and the Non-Resident Visiting Fellow at the George Washington University for her research, the CEC ArtsLink International Fellow for her curatorial work, and the Prince Claus Seed Award Laureate for her artistic work. Svitlana has published texts in academic journals and media outlets and is the editor of the book Contemporary Ukrainian and Baltic Art: Political and Social Perspectives, 1991-2021, and co-editor of At the Front Line. Ukrainian Art, 2013-2019.