Protecting Cultural Heritage and Decolonising our understanding of Ukraine
Images care of the Ukrainian Institute in Kyiv
We hear from Maria Blyzinsky - an Independent Heritage Consultant, based in London and Dr Tetyana Filevska from Ukrainian Institute, Kyiv.
Russia's strategy of war against Ukraine has involved the deliberate targeting, looting and destruction of museum collections and historic buildings. In addition, Russia's colonial narrative has long been to assert superiority over its neighbours, ensuring the cultural heritage of former colonies and soviet nations remains invisible in the west.
Find out why decoloniality – a growing practice in the UK - is essential for the protection of Ukrainian cultural heritage. Discover what can be done to diversify the voices of Eastern Europe in museum collections, what is being done to support museum colleagues in Ukraine and how UK heritage professionals can help.
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Maria is a heritage consultant and independent curator specialising in exhibitions. Her early career was spent at the V&A and, later, the Royal Museums Greenwich where she is now Curator Emeritus. Maria has a longstanding interest in the targeting of cultural heritage during conflict. She was an advisor to Heritage Without Borders, a now-defunct charity that trained museum professionals to work with colleagues in post-conflict countries. She is currently providing pro bono support to ICOM UK (the UK branch of the International Council of Museums), helping to coordinate initiatives that assist cultural heritage professionals in Ukraine.
Tetyana is Creative Director of the Ukrainian Institute in Kyiv, Ukraine’s cultural diplomacy organisation. She is an art-manager, curator and writer. Her background is in philosophy, contemporary art and Ukrainian art history of the 20th century. She is a specialist in the avant-garde movement in Ukraine and author of three books: Kazimir Malevich - Kyiv Period 1928-1930; Kazimir Malevich - Kyiv Aspect; and Dmitro Gorbachov - Sluchayi. Tetyana has worked in various art institutions in Ukraine and, in 2022, she curated a public programme dedicated to decolonisation for the Ukrainian Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale.
We look forward to welcoming you to the talk.