Research project

Secondary Archive – Platform for Central and Eastern European Women Artists: Ukraine and Belarus

On 23rd of February, 70 artists from Ukraine and Belarus will join the Secondary Archive project – a unique initiative on a European scale that responds to the problem of the lack of visibility of women from Central and Eastern Europe in recent art history. The platform is designed not only to show the work of artists from this region, but also to create a place where they can speak for themselves. Statements of three generations of artists from Ukraine and Belarus contain stories of wars, successful and unsuccessful revolutions, reality of the Soviet regime, everyday life of the ‘last dictatorship of Europe’, the role of female artists and the strategies of resistance they can undertake. In a context of growing international tensions, the exchange of experience and solidarity of women from the threatened countries, is extremely important.


The digital archive, which currently contains hundreds of statements, examples of works and essays, was created thanks to the cooperation of the Katarzyna Kozyra Foundation with international partners – the Artsvit Gallery (Ukraine) and the Goethe Institute  in collaboration with the Ambasada Kultury (Belarus). The initiative is supported by the European Union under the House of Europe  programme.


Ukrainian and Belarusian art for a long time remained unknown to the international audience. Belarus is in a particularly difficult situation, as currently there are no state or private institutions where contemporary artists can present their works. The country, which had been experiencing a kind of “cultural thaw” since the 2010s, has been brutally cut off from the rest of the world in the last two years. In response to the massive anti-government protests, the last independent cultural entities have been shut down, a significant part of the cultural representatives have left the country, and some of them remain imprisoned.


The Katarzyna Kozyra Foundation and its partners have been working for two years on showcasing artists from the region and the history of their practices. The platform, which last year gathered hundreds of profiles of artists from Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, is now expanding its borders. The archive will be joined by fifty artists from Ukraine and twenty from Belarus. Implemented thanks to the joint effort of local curators, artists and coordinators, the project includes artists from all backgrounds – emerging, young, unknown, as well as those with an established position. It includes testimonies of e.g. Tetiana Jablonska, one of two Ukrainian women-artists representing the Soviet Union at the Venice Biennale, Iryna Pap, the most famost woman reportage photographer in the USSR, or Alla Horska, who was murdered by the regime in 1970 for her political views, as well as key contemporary Belarusian and Ukrainian artists such as  Marina Naprushkina, Lada Nakonechna, Vlada Ralko, Ala Savashević, Zhanna Kadyrova and others.


The statements of female artists from Ukraine and Belarus, as well as new critical essays by local curators will be available from the 23rd of February at


The discussion dedicated to the launch of the project will be livestreamed on the Facebook.

Please join the event!

Date: 23rd of February.
Time: 6 pm CET / 7 pm EET / 8 pm MSK




Project leader: Katarzyna Kozyra Foundation

Partners: Ambasada Kultury, Artsvit Gallery, Goethe Institut e.V.

Project curator: Asia Tsisar

Project manager: Magdalena Majewska

Project support: Zuzanna Andruszko

Project design and identification: Marcel Kaczmarek

Website developers: Aleksandra Gajda

Website editor: Justyna Michalska

Media strategy: Joanna Andruszko



Partners: Ambasada Kultury, Goethe Institut e.V

Project coordinators: Anna Chistoserdova, Valentina Kiselyova

Curatorial team: Anna Karpenko, Sophia Sadovskaya

Translations: Olga Bubich, Valeryia Khotsina

Proofreading (Belarusian): Valeryia Khotsina

Website edition: Viktoryia Kharytonava

Special thanks:, NGO Ecohome, Jakob Racek, Tanja Setsko, Nataša Ilić



Partner: Artsvit Gallery

Project coordinators Iryna Kharlamova, Iryna Polikarchuk 

Project support: Mariia Behmat, Olha Bychekhovska

Curatorial team: Oksana Briukhovetska, Kateryna Iakovlenko, Iryna Polikarchuk, Kateryna Rusetska

Translations: Olha Zaporozhets, Larissa Babij, Grace Mahoney, Anastasiia Mednikova
Simultaneous translation: Svitlana Bregman, Yuliya Harasym

Proofreading (Ukrainian): Kateryna Iakovlenko, Liubov Ilnytska 

Website edition: Denys Vasyliuk

Special thanks: Kateryna Badianova, Yevheniia Moliar, Valeria Schiller


“Secondary Archive – Platform for Central and Eastern European Women Artists: Ukraine and Belarus” is supported by the European Union under the House of Europe programme