Women at War

Wednesday, October 26 – Sunday, November 20, 2022

Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, South Gallery
283 Washington Terrace, Middletown, Connecticut

Tuesday through Sunday, Noon to 5pm
(Closed November 21–28 for Thanksgiving break.)
View the COVID-19 Safety Guidelines for the Center for the Arts.

Read an essay about the exhibition by curator Monika Fabijanska.


Women at War


Women at War features works by a selection of the leading contemporary women artists working in Ukraine, and provides context for the current war, as represented in art across various media. Several works in the exhibition were made after February 24, 2022, when Russia began full-scale invasion; others date from the eight years of war following the annexation of Crimea and the creation of separatist “republics” in Donbas in 2014.

War is central to history. History has been written (and painted) by men. This exhibition provides a platform for female narrators of history and examines the perception of war as gendered. Women are generally absent from the historical accounts of war, but violating a woman is seen as a violation of land and nation. The exhibition also serves as a gateway to Ukrainian and other Eastern European feminisms, which are significantly different from the Western mold. Women at War will contribute to a conversation about how national identity is tied to the perception of women’s role in society. There are parallels between the fight for Ukraine’s independence and the fight for its women’s equality. They stem from the paradoxes of the Soviet Union, where early modernist, anti-nationalist, and feminist promises remained but a fig leaf of propaganda in the brutal and misogynist patriarchal empire it became.

This exhibition is a collaboration among Voloshyn Gallery, www.voloshyngallery.art, a prominent art gallery in Kyiv, currently operating from Miami, Florida; Fridman Gallery in New York City; and curator Monika Fabijanska.

Support for this exhibition is provided by the College of the Environment; Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life; Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies; Feminism, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Office of the Dean of Arts and Humanities; and Office of the Dean of Social Sciences.


Standing with Ukraine: An International Conversation
Tuesday, November 8, 2022 at Noon
Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery and livestreamed

An in-person and live-streamed international conversation on Election Day will offer direct and unique insight into the current situation in Ukraine.

Moderated by Robert Schumann Professor and Chair of the Environmental Studies Program, Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences and Biology, and Director of the College of the Environment Barry Chernoff and Associate Professor of Dance, Environmental Studies, Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, and Education Studies Katja Kolcio.

The Standing With Ukraine series is sponsored by the College of the Environment, the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life, and the Fries Center for Global Studies. Earlier this spring, Kolcio and Chernoff hosted a series of livestreamed international conversations, which allowed members of the Wesleyan community to connect with students, civic leaders, experts, and artists in Ukraine in an effort to humanize the war by hearing their perspectives from the war zone.

Resilience in Times of War
Thursday, December 1, 2022 at Noon
Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery
FREE! Masks required.

A performance presentation about the convergence of the arts, politics, and survival in Ukraine, held in conjunction with the exhibition Women at War, will feature Associate Professor of Dance, Environmental Studies, Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, and Education Studies Katja Kolcio joined by vocalist and collector of Ukrainian folk songs Nadia Tarnawsky, with livestream guests from Ukraine: theater artist and vocalist Vira Protskykh in Lviv, and writer and dancer Larissa Babij in Kyiv. Wesleyan students will also be featured in the performance.



Above image and thumbnail: Dana Kavelina, still from Letter to a Turtledove, 2020, HD, color, sound, 20:55 min. ©Dana Kavelina. Courtesy of the artist.

Banner image on Center for the Arts homepage: Olia Fedorova, Defense (detail), 2017, photograph, 30 x 45 inches, ©Olia Fedorova. Courtesy of the artist.