Ukrainians are staging art exhibition in Kyiv to show defiance (2024)

A defiant group of Ukrainians are staging an art exhibition to show the world the spirit of their resistance.

As part of the exhibition, The Unseen Force, the 'Angry Mavka' women's resistance movement are asking other women around the world to post pictures of the group’s logo drawn on their wrists, posed in front of recognisable landmarks.

The aim is to demonstrate to Russian occupiers that they still exist, that resistance to the aggressors continues and they will not surrender to 'life under a false flag'.

Organisers are creating a 'portal' exhibit which aims to spiritually 'unite' women in the occupied territories of Ukrainewith their female supporters across the rest of the world.

Entries, which can be emailed to or posted onto social media with the hashtag #unseenforce #zlamavka, will be pulled together to create a collage for the exhibition's walls in Kyiv.

LUHANSK, UKRAINE: Women from the Angry Mavka movement are creating a 'portal to hope' through social media

BARCELONA:The organisers have created a 'portal' between occupied territories of Ukraine and the rest of the world

BERLIN: Now the movement is searching for others to join in across the world

The Mavka group is named after a female forest spirit from Ukrainian and Russian folklore and mythology.


To show solidarity the organisers are keen to create a collage that includes pictures from all over the world to be displayed at their exhibition.

Here's how you can join in:

1) Draw the logo on your wrist (it’s the logo of an all-female activist group Mavka).

2) Go to a public building/location that is recognisable (Acropolis, Big Ben …)

3) Take a picture of your wrist in front of the building

4) Pictures should be anonymous, so try not to have anything on your arm (watch, jewellery…)

Send the pics to:

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She is a long-haired woman, typically seen as a temptress figure who lures men into the woods and to their deaths.

The Ukrainian all-female and non-violent resistance group emerged in the Russian-controlled city of Melitopol in 2022.

Last year members of the group risked their lives by doctoring Russian Ruble notes into a powerful symbol of Ukrainian defiance.

Hundreds of the 50 Ruble notes appeared across the Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine - from Melitopol, Berdyansk and Tomak in southern Ukraine all the way to Sevastopol and Yalta in Crimea.

The notes sent a powerful message to any of the occupiers who may think they are lucky to stumble across the 'free money'.If caught, they could have been arrested, imprisoned or worse.

At the centre of the note – in its traditional form – stood a female figure: the Monument of Neva, that sits in St Petersburg, seen holding a sceptre.

But the activists turned the sceptre into perhaps the ultimate symbol of the Ukrainian nation: the Trident (tryzub). The figure was also given a floral headdress, in the Ukrainian style, and carries the familiar facial features of the Mavka character.

In the top left corner of the note is the symbol for the Bank of Russia. But 'bank of Russia' has been changed to 'Bank of angry Mavka'.

The Russian note also had a line at the top saying 'Banknote of Russia' and at the bottom saying 'Fifty Roubles'. These lines instead read 'This is not Russia' and 'You are in Ukraine!'

DEAD SEA, ISRAEL:The latest protest is part of an exhibition called Unseen Force at Ukrainian House in Kyiv

MELITOPOL, UKRAINE: The group began in Melitopal in Ukraine in 2022 - and has since embarked on a series of brave protests

CRIMEA, UKRAINE: The symbol links defiance across the world and sends a clear message to aggressors

WARSAW, POLAND:The group is called Mavka, after the female forest spirit from Ukrainian and Russian folklore and mythology

BANGKOK, THAILAND: The protest has already travelled thousands of miles to Thailand

The latest protest is part of an exhibition called Unseen Force at Ukrainian House in Kyiv, which is running for two weeks from May 18 to June 2.

The Unseen Force project stands as a living testament to the unyielding spirit of Ukrainian citizens.

It is dedicated to promoting the understanding that Ukraine is defined not merely by its territory or a flag fluttering outside your window but by the resilience and humanity of its people.

Its stories are not stories of passivity, uncertainty and indifference: they are the stories of the resilience of a population that is under direct threat from the Russian occupier.

The exhibition demonstrates the history and the presence of activist resistance movements, their work and activities, as well as the reaction of the artistic environment.

The exhibition will be at Kyiv, Ukrainian House 18 May – 2 June 2024.

Ukrainians are staging art exhibition in Kyiv to show defiance (2024)


Ukrainians are staging art exhibition in Kyiv to show defiance? ›

The latest protest is part of an exhibition called Unseen Force at Ukrainian House in Kyiv, which is running for two weeks from May 18 to June 2. The Unseen Force project stands as a living testament to the unyielding spirit of Ukrainian citizens.

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Kazimir Malevich

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What is the most famous art center in Ukraine? ›

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