Press release

UNESCO supports Ukrainian women artists in exile

UNESCO is launching a scheme to support Ukrainian women artists who have had to flee their country because of the war, in partnership with the NGO Artists at Risk. It will enable them and their children to be hosted and cared for by a cultural institution in the country where they have found refuge.
Ukraine Women Artist Petrykivka
The war has driven millions of Ukrainians into exile, the vast majority of whom are women and children. Among these people, women artists who have been forced to suspend their creative activities often lack material and financial resources to resume their work in their host country.
UNESCO Director-General
Audrey Azoulay UNESCO Director-General

For this reason, UNESCO decided to launch a programme dedicated to Ukrainian women artists in exile, born of a partnership with the NGO Perpetuum Mobile, initiator of the Artists at Risk platform, which brings together cultural institutions in over 15 countries.

The artists concerned will be supported for a minimum of three months by a cultural institution in their host country. They will be taken care of with their children in artistic residencies, and will benefit from support in terms of networking, visibility and the conception of new cultural projects.

The scheme will aim to provide them with the means to become autonomous by the end of their hosting period, whether they then choose to return to live in Ukraine or to settle permanently in their host country. UNESCO has already set aside $140,000 to finance the scheme, which should initially benefit some 30 artists and their children.

UNESCO steps up its emergency response

The programme complements the range of emergency measures already deployed by UNESCO since the beginning of the war to safeguard tangible and intangible cultural heritage, secure museum collections and combat illicit trafficking in cultural property.

Moreover, since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, UNESCO has been monitoring the situation of artists in close consultation with artists' networks and cultural actors in the country. This work is also carried out in coordination with international organizations involved in supporting artists at risk: PEN America's Artists at Risk Connection, Perpetuum Mobile/Artists at Risk, ICORN, Freemuse, Prince Claus Fund and the PAUSE programme.

The UNESCO programme supporting the Ukrainian women artists in exile was supported by the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund. We wish to thank its donors: the Qatar Fund for Development, the Government of Canada, the Kingdom of Norway, the French Republic, the Principality of Monaco, ANA Holdings INC., the Republic of Estonia, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Slovak Republic, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Principality of Andorra, and the Republic of Serbia.

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