Culture is

enduring through war

"Probably the most important thing now is that I am alive and can continue my work," says Vitaliy. Art manager and curator from Ukraine, Vitalyi Matukhno is from the small industrial city of Lysychansk. He is the initiator of the "Gareleya Neotodryosh" platform, creating opportunities for young artists from the Donbas region to realise themselves. When Russia launched a full-scale invasion in Ukraine on 24 February 2022, his life, as many others, completely changed.

18 July 2024

A story by Vitaliy MATUKHNO

"Probably the most important thing now is that I am alive and can continue my work," says Vitaliy. 

Art manager and curator from Ukraine, Vitalyi Matukhno is from the small industrial city of Lysychansk. He is the initiator of the "Gareleya Neotodryosh" platform, creating opportunities for young artists from the Donbas region to realise themselves. When Russia launched a full-scale invasion in Ukraine on 24 February 2022, his life, as many others, completely changed.

Probably the most important thing now is that I am alive and can continue my work.

"Initially, when I received the Seed Award, I had plans to develop my personal projects. But with the beginning of a full-scale war in Ukraine, I was forced to leave my home. If not for the grant received from the Seed Awards, I would not have been able to continue working today. In fact, it saved my life, in a way." 

Vitalyi had to leave his city with just one backpack on his shoulders that had a few items – his laptop, camera, among a few other things. "My girlfriend and I found out that a train was leaving from Lysychansk and just got on it. Our train was going to Dnipro, and then changed direction. The road was safe, we crossed the whole country, reached Lviv in almost three days and stayed." Most of the Seed Award Vitalyi received was used to survive and adapt to the new reality. 

Initially, when I received the Seed Award, I had plans to develop my personal projects. But with the beginning of a full-scale war in Ukraine, I was forced to leave my home. If not for the grant received from the Seed Awards, I would not have been able to continue working today. In fact, it saved my life, in a way.

Vitalyi continues to work. He develops his existing projects, curates exhibitions and creates music, presenting his work nationally and internationally as well as collaborating with other artists and providing them a platform to showcase their work. 

"It was very important for me to support our community, and people who, like me, are experiencing the active stage of the war for the second time, so we began to provide financial support for young artists from Luhansk and Donetsk regions. So far, we helped 154 artists." 

It was very important for me to support our community, and people who, like me, are experiencing the active stage of the war for the second time...

Creating helps to make sense and cope with reality. "My working methods and tools have changed a lot, I am constantly trying to improve my practice, and now I have no right to rest while there is a war in my country."