Contra Spem Spero. Stories form Ukraine

From September 15 to October 15, 2023, after the first stop in Rome, Fondazione Stelline presents in Milan the photo exhibition CONTRA SPEM SPERO. Stories from Ukraine. 11 Ukrainian photographers – Lyubov Durakova, Nazar Furyk, Kateryna Aleksieienko, Alena Grom, Gera Artemova, Mykhailo Palinchak, Elena Subach, Pavlo Dorohoi, Serhiy Korovainyi, Dmytro Tolkachov, Volodymyr Petrov – share their documentary and artistic projects on life during the war period giving the viewer an authentic but never hopeless look.

The exhibition is curated by Kateryna Radchenko of the Odesa Photo Days Festival (Odesa, Ucraina), organized by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Italy and the Fondazione Stelline with the support of the European Commission Representation in Italy, in collaboration with the Office of the European Parliament in Italy, the Embassy of Spain in Italy (Presidency of the Council of the European Union), the Embassy of Sweden in Italy and the Embassy of Ukraine in Italy. The exhibition has the patronage of the Lombardy Region and the City of Milan.

Until the 15 October 2023 in the space of Fondazione Stelline await the viewer visual stories ranging from that of the Ukrainian documentary filmmaker who enlisted in the Armed Forces, to the people of Kyiv confronting a new “normalcy” in a living space deeply scarred by war, to the personal visual diary of Ukrainian refugees in Poland.

The title of the exhibition refers to a text by classical Ukrainian poet Lesia Ukrainka, written in 1890, a monologue by the author proclaiming the spirit of hope and opposition to all problems even in the most difficult circumstances. The exhibition is divided into three parts – the struggle, the hope and the aftermath – each of which speaks of the new reality and adaptation to life during the war, the struggle for the country’s existence, the traumatic experiences and the hope that drives them on.

Odesa Photo Days is an international festival of contemporary photography and a educational platform based in Ucraina. The 8th festival’s edition was supposed to take place in Odesa from May 19 to 22, 2022, but was canceled due to the large-scale war initiated by Russia against Ukraine. Since then, the festival team has been working to spread the word about the situation in Ukraine and support Ukrainian documentary photographers and photographic artists affected by the war. During the first year, the joint efforts of the Odesa Photo Days Festival and its international partners resulted in more than 30 print and online publications, 24 exhibitions, and more than 15 online lectures and presentations.

Kateryna Radchenko is a curator, photography researcher and teacher. Her research focuses on manipulation, propaganda and vernacular photography. Curator and founder of the international contemporary photography festival Odesa Photo Days. From 2009 is responsible of ONG “Art Travel”. She studied photography during the fellowship program at Villa Arson (Nice, France), during the Gaude Poland program (Warsaw; curator – Adam Mazur) and at the Museum of Photography (San Diego, USA). She studied curating at the Intercult organization (Stockholm, Sweden) and during the Curator’s Platform project at the PinchukArtCentre (Kyiv, Ukraine). Facebook @odesaphotodays Instagram @odesaphotodays




CONTRA SPEM SPERO. Stories from Ukraine

Curated by Kateryna Radchenko

15 September – 15 October 2023

Openings: Tuesday – Sunday, h. 10 am – 8 pm (Monday closed)

Free entry

Fondazione Stelline, Magenta 61, Milan


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