Museum for Human Rights marks Ukraine invasion with film about artists during wartime

By The Canadian Press

A film sharing the stories of Ukrainian artists surviving the ongoing Russian invasion will be on display at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights to mark the one-year anniversary of the start of the war.

Billed as an intimate look at artists connecting, resisting and healing through the power of music, “Ukrainian Artists United” profiles 11 artists living in Lviv in western Ukraine.

The 25-minute project was co-created by Darcy Ataman, who is the founder of an organization dedicated to using music therapy to help survivors of conflict and trauma and photographer Jason Willheim.

The two spent nine days on the ground in Ukraine connecting with artists to share their stories, which are presented through images, voice-overs and music.

The film will play on loop until Sept. 30 and will be incorporated into an area of the museum that is home to the Inspiring Change gallery, which encourages visitors to contemplate their own role in contributing to positive social change.

As a symbol of solidarity, the Manitoba Legislative Building and True North Square will show silent projections of images from the film on the exteriors of the buildings.

The film has been shown in private screenings elsewhere, including earlier this month on Parliament Hill.

“The war on Ukraine has transfixed the eyes of the world with its senseless violence and malevolent attacks on human rights,” Ataman said in a release.

“In the face of such depravity, these artists act as foils, calling on people around the world to take action in solidarity and defend basic principles of respect and dignity.”

The museum will hosting an event for the launch of the installation Friday evening that with include a performance by the Hoosli Ukrainian Male Chorus.

“We are honoured to share the voices of Ukrainians with our visitors through this important film, and to be a gathering place to remember those who have been lost and recommit ourselves to action,” Isha Khan, the museum’s chief executive officer, said in a release.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 23, 2023.

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