Darina Rodionova (FI) "Cultural Resistance. Ukrainian Artists During Wartime" - Helphoto 2023




Cultural Resistance. Ukrainian Artists During Wartime
In times of war and disaster, it is easy for culture and art to fall by the wayside. However, it is during these times that they are needed most. They provide hope, comfort, and a sense of unity for those affected by tragedy. Though, artists affected by war often find themselves pondering the futility of their craft, questioning, “If my art cannot halt tanks and missiles, what is the purpose of persevering? How do I find the means to continue? How can I, as an artist, genuinely contribute to repairing a world plagued by violence?” 

This project highlights the importance of art during difficult times, and the bravery of artists who continue to create despite being in the midst of war. The Ukrainian “cultural front” during wartime is a testament to the resilience of its people. Ukrainian culture has been oppressed by the colonial policy of Russia for a long time, and it escalated with the full-scale invasion in 2022. This topic is particularly close to the heart of Darina Rodionova, as she has family in Ukraine (Darina’s mother is from Donetsk Oblast, Donbas region). At the same time, Darina was born and raised in Russia and still feels a connection to its colonial culture. For her, it is essential to acknowledge the responsibility that comes with that connection. To Darina, this means taking action to support and amplify the voices of those most affected by colonialism and actively working towards a more just and equitable future. This project is an opportunity to showcase the bravery of Ukrainian artists and to celebrate the importance of their work. It is also a chance to reflect on the struggles they faced and the courage that it took to keep creating in such difficult circumstances. 

While art may not directly prevent war or stop violence, it can contribute to the broader social, cultural, and political shifts that ultimately shape a more peaceful world. Art has the potential to challenge dominant narratives, change perceptions, and influence public opinion. By touching hearts and minds, art can inspire individuals to take action, support causes, or engage in activism that addresses the root causes of conflict and suffering.

Darina Rodionova (b. 1990, Saint Petersburg, Russia) graduated from Saint Petersburg State University of Culture and Arts as a cinematographer and documentary filmmaker. In 2015 she moved to Helsinki, Finland, where she started her career as a Theater Photographer and Visual Artist. She has worked with various collectives in the theater and performing arts field and is currently working at Espoo City Theatre and Klockriketeatern as a Visual Content Producer.


Darina Rodionova (FI) "Cultural Resistance. Ukrainian Artists During Wartime" - Helphoto 2023
Darina Rodionova (FI) "Cultural Resistance. Ukrainian Artists During Wartime" - Helphoto 2023