War Diaries: Unheard voices of Ukrainian Children
This poignant exhibition will showcase the personal stories of children and teenagers who witnessed and documented the war in Ukraine. Initiated by visionary Khrystyna Khranovska and organized by NGO Port of Culture, with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, the exhibition aims to shed light on the deep trauma experienced by Ukraine's young generation. The official opening of The War Diaries exhibition will take place at Amsterdam City Hall on August 17th at 12:30 pm, with a speech from Deputy Mayor Rutger Groot Wassink. The exhibition will be held from August 18th to September 24th.
The underrepresented perspective of children
The War Diaries exhibition highlights the underrepresented perspective of children and teenagers who have experienced the devastating effects of the war. By providing a platform for these unheard voices, the exhibition fosters empathy, understanding, and meaningful dialogue surrounding the emotional and psychological consequences experienced by the younger generation.
Khrystyna Khranovska, the visionary and initiator behind the War Diaries project, passionately explains the purpose of the exhibition, stating, “According to UNICEF Situation Report, since the beginning of the full-scale invasion in Ukraine, 1,148 children have been killed or injured. These are just official dry statistics. The stories that are publicly known are only a few hundred. In reality, there are many more stories like these. Some people are not ready to talk about their endured suffering, while others find it easier to keep it inside. We want Ukrainian children to be heard so that the world can see what they go through every day.”
By showcasing 14 carefully selected stories with a balance of gender, age, region, and story type, the exhibition emphasizes the vast number of untold narratives. Through visual representations of war diaries from children's perspectives, including audio and video interviews, visitors will be immersed in the children's experiences. Additionally, an exhibition section will feature original diaries and sketches, allowing attendees to connect with the personal belongings of the children whose stories are being shared.
“I don't want to live. What's the point of a life without my dad? I feel like a helpless child who can't do anything on my own. Maybe this is my punishment for not being able to endure the pain and calling my dad. If I hadn't called him, everything would have been fine, and everyone would still be alive.”, – Arina Pervunina, 13 years old participant in the project, wrote in her diary.
“The full-scale Russian invasion has robbed 7.5 million Ukrainian children of a normal life. Almost two-thirds of them are displaced or have fled Ukraine. Russia persists in mass abducting and deporting Ukrainian children. Our wish, shared by millions of Ukrainians and the children whose diaries I've read at the UN General Assembly, is for a swift end to this war with Ukraine's victory and the return of a just and lasting peace.”, — Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, said.
The impact of the exhibition extends beyond the display itself. To further support and engage with the affected community, a workshop titled “Drawing a Path from the Past to the Future” will be conducted by Alevtina Kakhidze at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam on September 16th and 17th. This workshop aims to provide migrant children from Ukraine, currently residing in the Netherlands due to the war, an opportunity to foster connections, ignite their creativity, and cultivate an atmosphere of trust and interaction within a shared space.
The War Diaries project is made possible through the initiative of Khrystyna Khranovska, management by NGO Port of Culture, and the support of esteemed partners and stakeholders, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, the Embassy of Ukraine in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Amsterdam City Hall, The Children of Heroes Charity Fund, the Voices of Children Charitable Foundation, Platform Tu, and the Anne Frank House.
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