Partners on the Frontline: Unveiling Ukraine’s Cultural Resilience Amidst Invasion

In the wake of Russia’s invasion, Ukrainian solidarity was tested from every angle. On November 15, 2023, Meridian International Center, in collaboration with SCM and the Museum of Civilian Voices, celebrated the unveiling of the multimedia exhibition and salon conversation, Partners on the Frontline: Ukraine-U.S. Fight for Peace, Justice, Global Security, and Cultural Resilience. The event provided a crucial platform to discuss the importance of all facets of the U.S.-Ukraine relationship and highlight the artistic and cultural resiliency of the people of Ukraine despite Russia’s deliberate efforts to erase Ukrainian identity and unity.

Guests arrived in White-Meyer House, where an audio video installation produced by speaker Vlad Troitskyi was projected onto the walls. Meridian’s Chief Executive Officer, Ambassador Stuart Holliday, welcomed guests, detailing how art is a crucial lens to view the long conflict and sacrifice of the Ukrainian people. According to speaker Dr. Kateryna Smagliy, First Secretary, Public and Cultural Diplomacy at the Embassy of Ukraine, 1,709 historical sites and 92 museums had been destroyed, erasing valuable cultural heritage to Ukrainian people. The evening then turned to a thoughtful dialogue on artistic, cultural, and personal resilience among moderator Ambassador James K. Glassman, Chairman and CEO, Glassman Enterprises, LLC; Yuliia "Taira" Paievska, Ukrainian Military Servicewoman, Paramedic, Volunteer & Goodwill Ambassador and IWOC awardee; Natalia Yemchenko, Director of Public Relations and Communications, SCM; and Vlad Troitskyi, Founder, GOGOLFEST. The discussion concluded with a keynote address by Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist, Evgeniy Maloletka, who delved into the stories behind his photographs of the invasion of Ukraine.

Guests then proceeded to Meridian House for a continuation of the evening’s exhibition, which included a photo exhibition depicting solemn scenes in Ukraine, video testimonials from Ukrainian people on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, animated short Mariupol. A Hundred Nights, and a preview of the upcoming documentary film 20 Days in Mariupol. The exhibition also included vytynanka by Daria Alyoshkina, a unique form of art made from paper cut-outs; long considered to be a sieve that filters out all the evil and lets in only the good. The vytynanky displayed emphasized the role of women in the war, resiliency, and dignity.

This program was made possible through the support of

Project summary

Partners on the Frontline: Unveiling Ukraine’s Cultural Resilience Amidst Invasion | November 2023
Number of Attendees: 125
Regions: Europe and Eurasia
Countries: Ukraine
Impact Areas: Human and Civil Rights, Cultural Diplomacy
Program Areas: Culture
Partners: Private Sector