'The Womanly Face of War' exhibit opens in Limassol (pics)

The US Embassy Nicosia, in collaboration with Sunseed Art and Resilient Ukraine, has sponsored an art exhibit that depicts the faces, roles, stories, and resilience of Ukrainian women.

The exhibition was opened on the second anniversary of Russia’s re-invasion of Ukraine, a relevant press release notes, adding that the exhibit strives to provide a unique perspective on Russian aggression, evoking empathy and solidarity through relatable challenges that every woman can understand and connect with.

The exhibition will be visiting three Cypriot cities through to International Women’s Day on 8 March.

United States Ambassador Julie D. Fisher opened the exhibit on 22 February at the Limassol Old Port Square with the Ambassadors of Ukraine, Poland, and Sweden, representatives of the diplomatic community and others joining in solidarity.

In her remarks, Ambassador Fisher underlined how the exhibit provides what she described as a distinctly human dimension to unconscionable Russian brutality towards Ukrainian civilians and a way to see their faces, learn their stories, and honour their remarkable resilience.

The curator of 'The Womanly Face of War' exhibit, Olesya Drashkaba, is in Cyprus for the opening, and to deliver a series of presentations discussing the origins of the exhibit, the artists involved, and the work of Sunseed Art and Resilient Ukraine.

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The Ambassadors present at the exhibit opening had the following to say:

Julie D. Fisher, United States Ambassador to the Republic of Cyprus: “As we approach the somber second anniversary of Russia’s brutal and inhuman war in Ukraine this Saturday, we stand in solidarity with the courageous people of Ukraine, and today in particular, with Ukrainian women, who have faced unimaginable hardships in this conflict. We see now in Ukraine, just as in so many conflicts in the past, women’s voices often drowned out in war. As brave soldiers who have taken up arms to defend Ukraine, as mothers who have fought to keep families safe, as activists and artists who have spoken out against injustice and oppression, Ukrainian women are giving every effort for the safety of their country. This exhibit is called 'The Womanly Face of War,' and provides a real perspective and a human dimension to the unconscionable Russian brutality toward Ukrainian civilians. Through this exhibit, we see their faces, we learn their stories, and we honor their remarkable resilience, which stands in stark contrast to the documented war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine, including against Ukrainian women and children committed by Russian forces. We honour the courage, resilience, and persistence of Ukrainian women in the fight for Ukraine’s sovereignty and acknowledge how far Ukraine has come since February 2022, taking back over 50 percent of the territory illegally seized by Russia, and by holding Russia’s forces back across the front lines. It is critical to recognise the contributions the Republic of Cyprus continues to make in support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and its multiple tranches of financial and humanitarian assistance to support Ukrainians. After Russia's full-scale invasion, more than 26,000 Ukrainians arrived on the island, and almost 18,000 received temporary protection - and access to employment, education, and medical services. Cyprus has also provided training and technical aid for Ukrainians, in areas such as landmine clearing. And on this two year anniversary, we want to acknowledge the Republic of Cyprus' partnership in joint efforts to counter illicit finance moving through Cyprus. Together, we are effectively implementing sanctions and pursuing sanctions violators to cut off the funding streams that enable Russia to finance and wage its brutal war against Ukraine.”

Ruslan Nimchynskyi, Ambassador of Ukraine to the Republic of Cyprus: “As we approach the two-year anniversary of the full-scale aggression against Ukraine, the resounding collective message being sent from Cyprus is one of unwavering support for the Ukrainian people and belief in their ultimate victory. This exhibit underscores the collective ethos of this vital time – global unity and resilience in the face of tyranny and terror. I believe we are all united in the fight for a comprehensive, equitable and enduring peace grounded in international law and justice. On behalf of the Ukrainian Embassy and the Ukrainian community in Cyprus, I want to once again express our thanks for the support of the Cypriot people, the Republic of Cyprus, the United States and the broader diplomatic community.”

Marek Szczepanowski, Ambassador of Poland to Cyprus: “I am very moved by attending the inauguration of the exhibition on the 2nd anniversary of Russia's barbaric aggression against Ukraine. It is very important that we remember that Russian troops are still killing innocent people in Ukraine, that they are destroying Ukrainian towns and villages. Ukrainian Women and Girls are particularly affected by this tragedy, and it is therefore very important that we speak out about it. The Polish Pope John Paul II said: “There is no true freedom without solidarity." That is why Poland is helping and supporting Ukraine from the very beginning of the Russian imperial and colonial war in which Russia intends to enslave Ukrainian people, to seize their resources, to deprive them of their right to freely choose their development path and their security arrangements. Poland is one of the leading donors of humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine (approx. 1.3 % of our GDP). We host the largest number of refugees from Ukraine (approx. 1.5 million). The Russian aggression goes bluntly against all major UN and OSCE principles – i.e. the right of each country to preserve sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of borders. In this sense, Russia broke international law, undermined the global concept of peaceful coexistence of nations, and remains a long-term challenge for global security. Although the Russian aggression against Ukraine is not a global war, it clearly has global implications. The repercussions of the largest conflict in Europe since World War II continue to reverberate around the world. Not only has this war set off a geopolitical realignment, but it has also caused serious global economic turbulences, against the best interests of everyone. We are fully aware that Kyiv fights for “freedom ours and yours” just like we fought more than 160 years earlier during the uprising against the Tsar regime that enslaved Polish, Lithuanian, Ukrainian and Belarusian nations. Defending Ukraine and defeating Russia must be the top priority for every democratic country. Therefore, a long-term military, political and financial support for Ukraine must be secured. We sincerely admire the Ukrainian Women for their courage and heroism. We know how much the Ukrainians are suffering, how much their beautiful country is being destroyed. We will never forget this and we will help you until you are victorious!”

Martin Hagström, Ambassador of Sweden to Cyprus: “This exhibition is a sober, thought-provoking reminder that Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine is about to enter its third year. It highlights the fact that the war continues to claim an enormous human toll, not least for Ukraine’s women and girls. In response to that, Sweden last year allocated SEK 120 million (EUR 10.7 million) specifically to meet the needs, created by the war, of women and girls in Ukraine. We remain unwavering in our support for Ukraine, together with other EU Member States, European, and Transatlantic partners. Today, the Swedish Government will formally adopt the 15th bilateral military support package, bringing the total of Swedish support in this area since February 2022 to SEK 30 billion (EUR 2.7 billion).”

Information on the exhibit in other cities and updates coming soon on the U.S. Embassy website: https://cy.usembassy.gov/the-womanly-face-of-war-exhibit/

The exhibit in Limassol is supported by the Cyprus Port Authority.

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