This podcast dialogue took place on July 17, 2022, nearly five months since Russia first invaded Ukraine. Cultural producer Janeil Engelstad and curator Lilia Kudelia spoke with curator and researcher Kateryna Filyuk and art historian and cultural programmer Ilya Zabolotnyi about how the war has impacted Ukrainian art and culture, issues of cultural preservation and self-agency, as well as the building of support networks and new art infrastructures. Filyuk is a curator at Izolyatsia Platform for Cultural Initiatives in Kyiv, whose mission has shifted to address the war-related needs of arts organizations, artists, and cultural workers. Zabolotnyi is Director of the Ukrainian Emergency Art Fund, an organization that provides emergency stipends to Ukrainian cultural workers impacted by the war.
Janeil Engelstad is a Visiting Faculty and Artist in Residence at the Institute of Innovation and Global Engagement at University of Washington, Tacoma. She is Founding Director of Make Art with Purpose (MAP), an organization that produces collaborative Social Practice projects around the world, often bringing artists to the table in helping to provide solutions to local and global environmental and social concerns. She is a Fulbright Scholar and Affiliate Artist at the Social Practice Art Research Center at University of California, Santa Cruz.
Kateryna Filyuk is a curator and researcher who currently serves as the curator at Izolyatsia Platform for Cultural Initiatives in Kyiv, which offers support to artists and cultural workers impacted by the war in Ukraine. She is co-founder of 89books publishing house in Palermo, as well as a founder and curator of Festival Ucraina: La terra di confine in Palermo (2022). Prior to joining Izolyatsia, she was the co-curator of the Festival of Young Ukrainian Artists at Mystetskyi Arsenal, Kyiv (2017), and the catalogue managing editor and discussion platform coordinator for the First Kyiv International Biennale of Contemporary Art ARSENALE (2012).
Lilia Kudelia is a curator and art historian whose research interests span modern and contemporary movements with particular focus on the visual arts in the post-communist states and the intersection of art and technology. Previously, she was the Assistant Curator at Dallas Contemporary in Dallas, TX, and has held curatorial and research positions at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and the Art Arsenal in Kyiv, Ukraine. Kudelia co-curated the Ukrainian National Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale that featured work by photographer Boris Mikhailov. She is currently guest curator at Residency Unlimited, NY.
Ilya Zabolotnyi is an art historian, cultural programmer and producer, and expert in cultural diplomacy. He has worked for various organizations including PinchukArtCentre, Mystetskyi Arsenal, Ukrainian Pavilion in Venice, and the British Council. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, his main focus has been his work as the founding CEO of the Ukrainian Emergency Art Fund, an organization that provides emergency stipends to Ukrainian cultural workers impacted by the war.