“On the night of 24 February, we woke up to the sound of planes and loud explosions. We realised that the war had already begun…” Kateryna Kuchuk made the difficult decision to come to the UK for the safety of her children. Her and other women from Ukraine now tell their stories in a new photo-story project – The Displaced: Ukrainian Women of Liverpool.
The exhibition is a story of hope, told through portrait sittings and the conversations that happened during. The project allows these women to have their voices heard. Through a series of QR codes, visitors can read about their journeys to Liverpool, how they’ve adapted and the challenges faced since leaving their homes.
Ean Flanders shot the portraits in collaboration with Anastasiia Sydorenko and Olha Kruhlova. Ean recently had his exhibition, The Descendants, displayed in the Victoria Gallery & Museum. His work often explores themes of social injustice and marginalisation.
Olha and Anastasiia are Ukrainian women now living in Liverpool. Olha is working as a sales assistant. She wants the project to discuss the feelings of Ukrainian women, forced to move to the UK. Anastasiia is working as an interpreter whilst in Liverpool. Her story tells of what she describes as one the of the most difficult periods in her life.
The Displaced exhibition has already grabbed the attention of media publications like The Independent, the Evening Standard and Time Out magazine. Speaking to the PA News Agency, Ean said he wanted to give people a better understanding of the hardship faced by Ukrainian refugees.
“All these women are going through some form of trauma due to the war, due to not being with their families, due to not being able to speak English, so I just wanted to show their feelings, their emotions, their anger. Not all of us have contact with Ukrainians who are in the city so I thought having this exhibition with these women’s portraits on the wall would give an opportunity for some of these women’s experiences to be shared.”
Ean Flanders – Photographer
Baltic Creative CIC is providing a space free of charge to display the portraits. The exhibition will be in place until July. Becky Seaman, Marketing & Communications Officer said:
We’re really pleased to give Ean, Anastasiia and Olha our space. The exhibition opened during Eurovision but has been in the works long before we found out Liverpool were hosting. This will act as a great legacy project to show the connections between our city and Ukraine. The stories and portraits of these women are so powerful and I’d encourage anyone who can to come down for an insight into the experiences of Ukrainian people fleeing war. These women have been welcomed to our city, but we remain hopeful they can return to their homes one day.
If you’d like to visit The Displaced: Ukrainian Women of Liverpool, there are a number of open days over the next couple of months. You can find the exhibition in place at The Shed, 49 Jamaica Street, Liverpool, L1 0AH.
Friday 26th May
Saturday 3rd June
Monday 12th June
Wednesday 28th June
Tuesday 4th July
To further support the project, you can donate to their fundraising campaign here.