Ukraine: War and Resistance is an exhibition of photos taken by American and Ukrainian photographers at different moments during the last ten years. These talented photographers show the diverse aspects and dimensions of Russia’s war on Ukraine. At the same time, the photos illustrate the words of Senator J. William Fulbright: “Our future is not in the stars, but in our own minds and hearts.” While these photos are traveling the world, Ukraine is at war, resisting its oppression and creating its future.

The photo exhibit will be displayed on various occasions in Zeeland (see our Agenda for the full schedule). The RIAS collaborated with Mariia Kravchenko, Program Officer at Fulbright Ukraine & Institute of International Education Kyiv, to bring the exhibit to Zeeland. Mariia, who was a visiting fellow at the RIAS in 2023, coordinated with our staff members the exhibition’s organization, which involved multiple local partners, including University College Roosevelt (UCR) students who selected the photos to be displayed

The exhibit is sponsored by Provincie Zeeland, Four Freedoms door het jaar heen, ZB Bibliotheek van Zeeland, Fulbright Ukraine, and the RIAS.

Photo: Oksana Parafeniuk
Serhiy Kopyschyk, 25, and Svitlana Kopyschyk, 25, pose for a portrait in Pokashchiv village, Volyn region, Ukraine on October 3, 2023. Svitlana and Serhiy got married in January this year and their son Marko was born in August. He joined the army the day after the invasion and he suffered severe injuries on July 27, 2022 in Kherson region, which resulted in him losing both legs, one above the knee, and eyesight in one eye. They live with Svitlana's parents and dream to buy their own house. (Photo: Oksana Parafeniuk)

Weapons of Defense

With the beginning of Russia’s war against Ukraine, a cohort of Fulbright photographers found themselves at the epicenter of momentous events, equipped with their own weapons of defense: knowledge and a camera. The photographers – either Ukrainian or American Fulbrighters – managed to capture the tragic, heroic, devastating, and hopeful moments of life in Ukraine. Most of these photographs were taken after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, but some date as early as 2014, when Russia first invaded Ukraine and annexed the Crimean Peninsula.

Ukraine: War and Resistance is a traveling project by Fulbright Ukraine & Institute of International Education (IIE) Kyiv Office, in partnership with various co-organizers in the U.S. and Europe.

The photographers are almost all Fulbright Alumni who are either from Ukraine, or American Fulbrighters who have lived and worked in Ukraine for several years. In fall 2022, the photo exhibition Ukraine: War and Resistance debuted at the Vinnytsia museum, Ukraine. It has since visited the U.S., Germany, Czech Republic, Bulgaria and the Netherlands. The photo exhibition presents the works of Fulbrighters J.T. Blatty, Oleksii Furman, Brendan Hoffman, Serhii Korovayny, Joseph Sywenkyj, Emine Ziyatdinova, and Oksana Parafeniuk, a former employee of the Fulbright Program in Ukraine. General design by Marian Luniv, Ukrainian artist and Communications Coordinator at Fulbright Ukraine & IIE Kyiv Office.


The Fulbright Program

The Fulbright Program is one of the most prestigious exchange programs in the world. It’s operated by the U.S. Department of State in partnership with more than 160 countries worldwide and facilitates scientific, educational, and cultural exchanges. The program was established in 1946 on the initiative of Senator J. William Fulbright (Arkansas, USA), who endeavored to improve cooperation and increase mutual understanding between countries through international exchanges in order to avoid wars and human suffering. According to him, the exchange program is not a panacea, but an avenue of hope.

In Ukraine, the Fulbright Program has existed since 1992. For 30 years, it has provided opportunities for hundreds of Ukrainians and Americans to gain academic exchange experience. Fulbright Ukraine is led and administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in partnership with the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv and the U.S. Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs.