Please join us in attending Our Fire Is Stronger Than Your Bombs, an exhibition of war posters by contemporary Ukrainian illustrators that will open this Friday, February 24, at 5 PM in the Baker-Berry Library Brickway.
On February 24, 2022, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The war continues until now, ruining the lives of millions of people and uprooting the principles of civilized life as we know it.
To commemorate the one-year anniversary of the war, a poster exhibition in Baker-Berry Library will be displayed to raise awareness among the Dartmouth community and beyond of the war still raging in the heart of Europe. The exhibit will showcase some of the brilliant artworks of contemporary Ukrainian illustrators living and working in Ukraine, sometimes, with no power, water, cell signal, or Internet connection. Many of them have long been collaborating with global media, in particular, the New Yorker, the Atlantic, Zeit, Adweek, and other outlets.
Created since the start of the invasion, the twenty posters on display are by eight emerging and well-established illustrators. A poster, as a form of fine art blending imagery and text, is a convenient and laconic statement, a means of rapid, shareable response to the urgent events and personal emotions they trigger. In the context of the massive information war, illustrators have become the voices of the art community, and their activism adds tangible strength to the 'cultural troops' who fight propaganda every day, broadcasting facts through artistic images and defending the truth as eyewitnesses.
Displayed on the brick walls and columns of the Baker-Berry Library hallway, or "Brickway," unframed, these posters will create a semblance of a street space where the 'passers-by' can interact with the exhibits for as long (or short) as they want, on the go. The 'crude' design of the exhibition will also evoke the feeling that all things in this world are passing and ephemeral–what matters today will be 'torn off the wall' tomorrow, only to be swapped for something more urgent. Just as the breaking news and tragedies in this war (and on the newsfeeds of Ukrainians) have been changing each other in a mad whirlwind for the past 300+ days.
The physical exhibition will be complemented with a digital one hosted on the Dartmouth Library digital exhibits' platform. The visitors will be able to scan a QR code on the curatorial poster in the Brickway that will take them to the page with the details about each particular poster, its author, and the important background information. The digital exhibition will be available after the physical exhibition is over at the end of March. It will also allow the wider community and the Dartmouth alumni to explore the exhibits.
The opening, on Friday, February 24, 2023, for the exhibition will bring together Ukrainian members of the Dartmouth community across departments and disciplines, as well as anyone else interested in observing the one-year anniversary of the war. Visitors will hear a brief opening word and a reading of Ukrainian poetry in translation–particularly, the poems translated by Hanna Leliv, a Leslie Center Faculty Fellow, during her residency at Dartmouth, and Veronika Yadukha, a student of comparative literature program.