Ukrainian Perspectives: Photography From The 1940s—Now, At ChaShaMa

April 11, 2023

In Ukraine, Magnum Photos and Spilka are pleased to present Ukrainian Perspectives: Photography from the 1940s—Now, just 30 minutes from Harlem, NY.

A joint photography multimedia exhibition at ChaShaMa at 227 W 29th Street in Chelsea. Accompanying the exhibition will be five live and online panel events covering a range of critical topics surrounding the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, the role of photography in today’s landscape, and decolonization in Ukrainian art. On April 12th, there will also be an auction of many of the works on view benefitting Spilka’s crucial relief work on the ground in Ukraine. 

This exhibition, curated by Fred Ritchin and Ira Lupu, offers a visual response to political pressures that have been shaping Ukrainian representation for centuries, reclaiming narrative control by offering a glimpse into the daily lives of Ukrainians from their own points of view. Ukrainian Perspectives gives unprecedented access to a combination of archival images of pre-2014 Ukraine and war coverage by Magnum photographers, photos of post-2014 everyday life from Ukrainian photographers, and projections from all groups of participants. The show explores Ukraine and Ukrainians beyond the parameters of war, giving viewers a window into the lives of the people not just surviving the present moment, but also shaping their future.

The exhibition’s first floor will feature selected images taken in Ukraine post-2014 that will be available for sale as part of the Spilka auction. The photographs were selected through an open call to professional and amateur photographers by a jury of Ukrainian photo and art professionals (Lyolya Goldstein, Yaroslav Solop, Ira Lupu, Betty Roytburd, and Lena Shkoda). These Spilka-selected works will be displayed alongside archival (pre-2014) imagery by Magnum photographers in Ukraine, including rarely-seen works by Robert Capa, Herbert List, Martin Parr, Jim Goldberg, Carolyn Drake, Thomas Dworzak, etc. Depicting everyday life in Ukraine in different moments of the 20th century, the exhibition explores a range of topics, from the displacement of indigenous Crimean Tatars and the Second World War to nature, human relationships, and everyday life. A collection of Ukrainian publications and war-related books and zines will also be on view and available for sale. On the second floor is a special installation merging photography, video, and sound by professional Ukrainian photographers who participated in the 2022 exhibition, In Ukraine, (including Sasha Maslov, Yelena Yemchuk, and Elena Subach) and coverage of the current conflict by several Magnum photographers (including Antoine D’Agata, Emin Özmen, Jerome Sessini, Paolo Pellegrin, Sabiha Çimen, among others). Some of these works will be shown as projections with a dedicated soundtrack.

Ira Lupu, co-curator of In Ukraine and Magnum Photos section with Fred Ritchin states: “In 2022 when the full scale-invasion began, tens of thousands of Ukrainians had to pick up jobs they never intended to do. As a Ukrainian, I felt the best thing I could do was to help familiarize Western audiences with the broader context of this war and Ukraine as a country — through contemporary and historical photography and the arts. A year later, the war in Ukraine still rages, but the world’s attention is fading. As the focus continues to shift away from Ukraine despite the mounting death toll, the opportunity to join forces with Magnum Photos and Spilka at this beautiful ChaShaMa space feels more crucial than ever. The work of professional and amateur Ukrainian lens-based artists converges with the “witnessing” stance of celebrated Magnum photographers, offering an unprecedented, solidified vision of pre-war and wartime Ukraine from both ‘insider’ and ‘outsider’ points of view.” 

Fred Ritchin, co-curator: “Photography has long provided eyewitness accounts of wars and other horrors. The question now is to what extent these images by insiders and outsiders can impact the future of Ukraine. Can they bring enough awareness, painful as it might be, to motivate a more sustained and accelerated pursuit of peace? At the very least, they serve as necessary witnesses to one of the great tragedies of our time.”

Betty Roytburd, artist, curator, and co-founder of Spilka: “Since February 2022, Ukraine has consistently been in the international news, and many people have learned about our country’s existence only by seeing Ukraine’s people fight to defend it. News about Ukraine was  supported by a vast array of photographic evidence documenting the atrocities and destruction taking place. The Spilka open call invited people to share personal narratives of Ukraine through photos taken after 2014, the year of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its annexation of Crimea. As the war rages on, we want to share these images which portray a distinctly Ukrainian reality in order to preserve our own narratives and the unique history of our beloved country. Alongside the incredible historical archive provided by Magnum Photos and the powerful project In Ukraine, organized by Fred Richtin and Ira Lupu, we hope that this three-part exhibition will shed light on the wonderful nuances of the Ukrainian experience and will raise awareness about the ongoing war. We are excited to lend our voices and hope you will be compelled to listen along with us.

Opening Reception

On April 12th, Spilka, Magnum Photos, and In Ukraine will host an Opening Reception from 5:00 – 9:00 pm ET at ChaShaMa Gallery, 227 W 29th Street, New York, NY 10001. The event will feature performances by Valeriia Vovk (producer, arranger, composer, and singer from Odessa, Ukraine) and Eugene Hütz (Ukrainian-born singer, composer, disc jockey, actor, and frontman of Gogol Bordello). 

The Opening Reception kicks off an auction that will run until the exhibition closes on May 5, 2023. Proceeds from the auction will benefit Spilka’s crucial relief work on the ground in Ukraine. The auction will launch on on Wednesday, April 12. RSVP below to receive a notification when the auction goes live.

Space is limited; to RSVP visit

Panel Discussions

RSVP Required. Registration links to be available soon.  

SAINTS: Presentation and Artist Talk About Sasha Maslov’s Upcoming photo book about the Everyday Heroes of Ukraine 

Speaker: Sasha Maslov, Moderated by Christian Borys and Violetta Petrova
Participants will discuss insights from the process of creating a photobook during crisis, merging boundaries between internet culture and photography during the war, and how war creates conditions for and necessitates unusual collaborations, both in the creative field and the frontlines. (April 14, ChaShaMa Space at 227 W 29th St.) 

War on the Internet / Memeing through War: A Discussion by Saint Javelin’s Social Media Lead Violetta Petrova and Cultural Critic and Musician Aloiso Wilmoth
The participants will discuss memes as means to express trauma through humor and irony, links between their ability to “hack” the attention of bystanders online, witnessing conflict online, insider/outsider perspective when learning and communicating about the war. (April 15, ChaShaMa Space)

Can Photography Still be Helpful in the world? A Discussion with Magnum Photographers, Moderated by Fred Ritchin
What impact do all these many images of contemporary events in Ukraine have on the world, whether the images are made by Ukrainians or by foreign photojournalists? Are there certain kinds of images that lead to greater understanding rather than a repetition of the spectacle of violence? (May 4, Magnum Foundation)

Decolonization in Ukrainian Culture and Art
How do we address colonization in how Ukrainian culture is presented in academic and cultural institutions in and outside of Ukraine? Moderated by Spilka’s co-founder Betty Roytburd. Confirmed guests include Olexii Kuchanskiy, Bayryam Bayryamali, Oksana Semenik, and Lisa Korneichuk. (April 28, Online)

Territories Are People
Volunteers of the international organization “Helping to Leave” talk about the complexities of evacuation from occupied territories and human rights violations since the beginning of the full-scale war, and the Ukrainian POC refugee crisis. Moderated by Terrell J Starr. (April 20, Online)

In Ukraine

In Ukraine was co-founded and curated by Ira Lupu and Fred Ritchin. Ira Lupu is a Ukrainian photographer and artist. Fred Ritchin is a photography theorist, writer, educator, and dean emeritus of the International Center of Photography.

In Ukraine is a traveling exhibition that opened in early March 2022, just a month after the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine, in a small gallery in Brooklyn, the Gallery at Dobbin Mews. It has since traveled to London, The Hague, and Ljubljana and has received support from the Magnum Foundation and private donors. The exhibition has raised $10,000 for Ukrainian charities such as the Prytula Fund and the volunteer groups Livyj Bereh and Tu Mariupol and provides direct monetary support to its participating artists.The latest version of In Ukraine was shown in the bustling neighborhood of Wembley Park in London.


Magnum Photos is a cooperative of acclaimed, independent photographers who share an ongoing commitment to documenting world events, people, places, daily life, and culture. Founded in 1947, Magnum Photos has been telling stories of the past, defining the present, and shaping the future through photography for over 75 years, united by its values of uncompromising excellence, truth, respect, and independence. With more than 6.6 million followers across the internet, and a rolling program of museum shows, exhibitions, and events across the globe, Magnum photographers continue to inspire a growing worldwide audience. 

Find out more at


Spilka was co-founded in February 2022 as an independent collective of artists and cultural workers based in New York City, dedicated to providing people in Ukraine with lifesaving resources and critical supplies in the face of the ongoing Russian invasion and war. Spilka functions as an inclusive relief network, organizing fundraising efforts and redistributing resources to those most impacted in times of crisis. Spilka’s organizing includes events such as music shows, film screenings, and collaborations with Ukrainian artists and cultural institutions as we offer support for their volunteer initiatives during the war. Our organization operates with full transparency as we fund and transfer grants directly to individuals in urgent need and to volunteer groups on the ground who are risking their lives to help those around them. Some of the organizations we support and work with include Cvit, Livyj Bereh, Metalab, Understructures, UEAF, Vostok SOS, Tu Mariupol, Kukhia, Khlib Dopomoga, and others. Our donations go directly toward food, shelter, medicine, transport, and safety. All photographs in the auction were taken after 2014 and illustrate the multitude of narratives that make Ukraine. The photographs were selected through an open call to professional and amateur photographers by a jury of Ukrainian photo and art professionals: Lyolya Goldstein, (curator, and owner of Bird in Flight magazine), and Yaroslav Solop, (artist, photography researcher, editor-in-chief of Booksha publishing, both based in Ukraine), as well as Ira Lupu, (artist, photographer, and co-founder of In Ukraine exhibition), Lena Shkoda, (artist, photographer, co-founder of Spilka, owner of Movement productions, and Betty Roytburd, (artist, curator, and co-founder of Spilka).

For updates follow Spilka on Instagram.  


Since 1995, Chashama has partnered with property owners to transform unused real estate for 30,000 artists and over 150 small businesses, hosted 4,000 public art events, provided 1,500 classes in underserved communities, and reached audiences of nearly a million.

ChaShaMa in Chelsea at 227 W 29th Street (Between 7th and 8th Avenues), New York, NY 10001

The exhibition space was provided by ChaShaMa and was generously donated by KEW Management. Key partners: Magnum Foundation, Razom for Ukraine, Supreme Printing, PICTO NY, DYSTURB, Saint Javelin.

Photo credit: 1-3) ChaShaMa.

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