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Mapping Ukraine in Museums: Collections and Practices

Venue: Online

We are pleased to announce the Mapping Ukraine in Museums event, sponsored by the British Council and the Ukrainian Institute, and co-organised by the Centre for Museum Cultures at Birkbeck College, as part of the UK/Ukraine Season of Culture.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 has reopened a new inquiry into the colonial relationship between Russia and Ukraine. It also enforced rethinking of the meaning and strategies of the decolonisation project as applied to museums. For centuries, Ukraine-born artists have been identified, as well as kept identifying themselves, as Russian artists.

This discussion considers the following questions, among others: 

  • How can we balance the exigencies of transnationality, the condition which characterizes Ukrainian arts as a whole, against the practices of cultural appropriation?
  • How could museums outside Ukraine respond to those specific decolonisation issues?
  • How could Ukraine be mapped into the complex geographies of their collections? 

The discussion programme is held over two consecutive days, from 17:00 - 20:00 (GMT + 1 hour) each day. 

The event will be broadcasted on the Zoom platform, as well as on the Facebook page of the Ukrainian Institute.

In order to attend one or both evenings, please complete the Registration Form

For the full programme and speaker biographies please see the Centre for Museum Cultures events page


Day One, 20 October 2022 focuses on the very issue of decolonisation and its shifting meanings, especially in the context of the war in Ukraine.

  • 5.00 – 5.30 PM GMT (+1.00)/ 7.00 -7.30 PM (Kyiv Time)
    Introduction: David Codling, British Council, Ukraine UK Season Director; Tetyana Filevska, Creative Director of the Ukrainian Institute, Kyiv, Anastasiia Yevsieieva, Visual Arts Programme Manager, Ukrainian Institute, Kyiv, Stephanie Bowry, Co-Director, Birkbeck’s Centre for Museum Cultures and Katarzyna Murawska-Muthesius, Birkbeck College, University of London

  • 5.30 – 5.50 PM GMT (+1.00)/ 7.30 -7.50 PM (Kyiv Time)
  • 'Ukrainian hybrid orientalism and the paradox of decolonial disposition': Hanna Rudyk, Curator of Islamic art at The Bohdan and Varvara Khanenko National Museum of Arts in Kyiv

  • 5.50 – 6.10 PM GMT (+1.00)/ 7.50 -8.10 PM (Kyiv Time)
  • 'Decolonial approaches in CEE museum cultures: challenges and perspectives': Magdalena Wróblewska, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of „Artes Liberales”, University of Warsaw

  • 6.10 – 6.30 PM GMT (+1.00)/ 8.10 -8.30 PM (Kyiv Time)
  • 'On de-imperializing Ukrainian modern art from museum registries': Myroslava Maria Mudrak, Professor Emerita of the History of Art, The Ohio State University

  • 6.50 – 8.00 PM GMT (+1.00)/ 8.50 -10.00 PM (Kyiv Time)
  • 'Museum military mutual help: the experience of the Museum Crisis Centre': Olha Honchar, Director of the Memorial Museum of Totalitarian Regimes “Territory of Terror” in Lviv


  • 6.50 – 8.00 PM GMT (+1.00)/ 8.50 -10.00 PM (Kyiv Time)
  • Q&A Session and General Discussion


Day Two, 21 October 2022 focuses on discussing the ways in which the museum world, in the largest sense of the term, could support the effort to decolonise museums in the aftermath of the Russian invasion. 

  • 5.00 – 5.10 PM GMT (+1.00)/ 7.00 -7.10 PM (Kyiv Time)
  • Introduction: Tetyana Filevska, Creative Director of the Ukrainian Institute, Kyiv and Katarzyna Murawska-Muthesius, Birkbeck College

  • 5.10 – 5.30 PM GMT (+1.00)/ 7.10 – 7.30 PM (Kyiv Time)
  • 'Museums' strategies during the war: reinventing itself': Yuliia Vaganova, Acting Director of the Bogdan and Varvara Khanenko National Museum of the Arts, Kyiv

  • 5.30 – 5.50 PM GMT (+1.00)/ 7.30 – 7.50 PM (Kyiv Time)
  • 'Protecting Ukrainian Heritage – a UK response': Maria Blyzinsky, an independent curator, heritage consultant and writer. Co-founder of The Exhibitions Team

  • 5.50 – 6.10 PM GMT (+1.00)/ 7.50 – 8.10 PM (Kyiv Time)
  • 'Odesa Fine Arts Museum: from the imperial tool to the most pro-Ukrainian space of the city': Oleksandra Kovalchuk, Acting Director of the Odessa Fine Arts Museum, Member of the Odesa City Council, leader of the NGO “Museum for change”


  • 6.10 – 6.30 PM GMT (+1.00)/ 8.10 – 8.30 PM (Kyiv Time)
  • 'The Time of Stalins and Hitlers is Not Over: Museums Perceiving Decolonisation after Occupation': Tehmina Goskar, Director and Curator of the Curatorial Research Centre, Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Decolonising Arts Institute, UAL (University of the Arts London), Fellow of the Museums Association.


  • 6.30 – 8.00 PM GMT (+1.00)/ 8.30 -10.00 PM (Kyiv Time)
  • Q&A and General Discussion



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