Greetings from Ukraine. A video documentary on how design and jewelry can forge national identity and resistance by ZLR Betriebsimperium

Video  /  CriticalThinking
Published: 11.05.2024
ZLR Betriebsimperium
Edited by:
SMCK Magazine
Edited at:
Edited on:
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Artists are ambassadors, chosen by fate, carrying their creations and culture of their people to the world. (Stanislav Drokin)

A designer's item - a ceramic rooster still standing after a bomb destroyed the building, a brooch made of enemy's projectiles, a ring reflecting fear and bravery - can forge national identity, and inspire people to resist the aggressor. Four internationally acclaimed designers and artists give their testimony of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and explain what keeps them creating, resisting, and fighting for victory and justice.

Contemporary Ukrainian jewelry is „wartime jewelry“, and not „political jewelry“ as it is often, falsely, described.
Social movements inspire artists and designers to deal with topics or materials or techniques reflecting the experience of engaging for minorities' rights and representation, identity politics, rethinking social values or combatting bigotry, prejudices, and social conventions.

Contemporary Ukrainian jewelry is - directly or indirectly - reflecting Ukraine's struggle to defeat Russia. The war has already cost the lives of thousands of innocent and unarmed Ukrainian civilians, among whom children, and has wounded or traumatized many more. This is not a civil movement or political activism, but the destruction of a country and its infrastructure accompanied by a propaganda war faking facts or devaluating the authenticity of Ukrainian culture and its people's right to self-determination.
Ukrainian jewelry, design and fashion, through their themes and concepts, support the fight for victory and liberation; it is outspoken and patriotic in its goals and aims through exhibitions, press promotion, and auctions to collect money for charities or for the army and to raise awareness for the tragedy of Ukrainian people, and for the international community's duty to punish the war criminals.

Many people in the West attribute to the words patriotism, military, defense, nation etc. a negative ideological connotation or a conservative orientation. This is happening because many people in the West ignore the history of conflicts, and project the experiences made inside their well-protected environment on other societies and nations.

Jewelry not only embodies the visual language and the social values of the culture that it reflects; it is usually one of the few precious objects, both in the monetary and the emotional sense, that refugees carry with them as tokens of memories of better times and family heirlooms.

The video documentary "Greetings from Ukraine" is currently screened at Legnica Silver Festival in Poland till 21 July 2024.

With: Yurii Plekhanov, Natalia Kamenska, Maria Gavryliuk, Stanislav Drokin.
Script & concept: Loukia Richards.
Cut, sound & editing: Christoph Ziegler.
Designs and jewelry: Yurii Plekhanov, GuniaProject, Stanislav Drokin.
Video footage: Yurii Plekhanov, Stanislav Drokin, GuniaProject, Christoph Ziegler, Maidan Museum Borodianka.
Sound: GuniaProject, Christoph Ziegler.
Production: SMCK Magazine.

Video, 2024, 20:45 min.