Urgent appeal for donations by the Network of Artists' Houses in Northern Germany (NKN) for the artists' house Asortymentna kimnata in Western Ukraine

24.2.2022 - none of us will easily forget this day. With the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the unimaginable has become a bitter reality: war in the centre of Europe! Russia's war against Ukraine, which is against international law, spreads immeasurable suffering. It kills people. Millions are on the run.

The war against Ukraine is also directed against a common European culture. It destroys cultural cooperations with institutions and actors in Ukraine and in Russia, and it destroys evidence of our common cultural heritage.

The members of the Network of Artists' Houses in Northern Germany (Netzwerk der Künstlerhäuser in Norddeutschland, NKN) are watching the war events in Ukraine with great concern. We declare our solidarity with the people who stand up for freedom and peace in Ukraine. Many of our houses have started their own aid measures - from taking in artists who have fled Ukraine to organizing benefit events.

But right now it is also important to support the people who have remained in Ukraine and who are staying despite the life-threatening situation. As cultural institutions, we want to support cultural actors in Ukraine. To this end, we cooperate with the artists' house The Assortment Room/Asortymentna kimnata, which serves as a retreat and safe space for displaced artists and cultural workers in Ivano Frankivsk, in western Ukraine. Another key concern of this initiative is the shelter and preservation of artworks from the embattled major cities.

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Please help us support this important initiative in Ukraine with donations!

More information about the initiative in Ukraine can be found here:

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The Assortment Room/Asortymentna kimnata
Artists' space / residency programme for displaced artists in the West Ukraine

The Assortment Room/Asortymentna kimnata, an artist run residency space, was founded by Alona Karavai in 2014 during the last Russian attack as a retreat for artists. It is located in Ivano Frankivsk, in western Ukraine. Since February 2022, Lesya Khomenko, an artist and curator from Kyiv who fled to Ivano Frankivsk has helped to organise the project. The initiative has created a place for cultural workers who had to flee from embattled areas but want to stay in Ukraine. Both living space and studios are provided.

Another important goal of the initiative is to offer spaces for the storage of artworks from the major cities under attack. Artworks are transferred to Ivano Frankivsk and kept there safely.

The artists' space currently consists of a large appartment, a cellar and storage rooms. The plan is to rent additional studio space of 70 square metres in the same house, where until March 2022 a private art school for children was located. This room will cost an additional 300-350 euros per month. Another appartment where Asortymentna kimnata hosts artists is located outside Ivano Frankivsk in the countryside.

The project has a Facebook account: https://www.facebook.com/asortymentna.kimnata
and an Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/asortymentna_kimnata/

At the moment, Asortymentna kimnata houses the two organisers and ten other artists: Sasha Kurmaz, Kateryna Aleinik, Taira Umarova, Yaroslava Khomenko, Daniil Galkin, Zhanna Kadyrova, Denis Ruban, Nikita Kadan, Oleksiy Sai and Kateryna Buchatska. The number of artists being housed is growing steadily.

“In a time of physical destruction, we will physically create. Culture and art are important at all times, I have already tested this during the Revolution of Dignity. This is not a matter of neccessity, it has nothing to do with survival, but it is very important at the diplomatic and geopolitical levels.” Lesya Khomenko

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Lesya Khomenko (*1980) is a Kyiv based artist and curator. Since 2004 she is a member of the Revolutionary Experimental Space (R.E.P.) group. In 2007 and 2008, Khomenko and other members of the R.E.P. established a group to support young artists at the Center for Contemporary Art, Kyiv. She is also co-founder of the curatorial Union HUDRADA, a self-educational community based on interdisciplinary cooperation. She has been artist in residence at the Center for Contemporary Art at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Kyiv (2005-2006); the LIA (Leipzig International Art program, 2008). In 2009, 20011 and 2013 Lesya Khomenko was a finalist of the Pinchuk Art Prize, Kyiv.

Alona Karavai is the co-founder of Insha Osvita, co-developer of horizontal school in MitOst, co-founder of the social enterprises Khata-Maysternya and Agency for educational events and products INSHI, a social investor at Urban Space 500, co-founder of gallery and project space Asortymentna kimnata, and co-organizer of Porto Franko festival. She has studied organisational development at the Technische Universität, Kaiserslautern. Karavai is co-author of several publications and handbooks for non-formal education.

Interviews with Alona Karavai on the safeguarding of artworks (in German):
https://www.br.de/kultur/interview-alona-karavai-krieg-schutz-evakuierung-ukraine-kunst-kultur-100.html
https://www.deutschlandfunkkultur.de/krieg-in-der-ukraine-koennen-kulturgueter-gerettet-werden-dlf-kultur-53c66055-100.html

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The fundraising is intended to finance the rent and the living expenses for the artists in Ivano Frankivsk, as well as the further development of the project.

Donations can easily be made via Paypal directly to the account of Asortymenta Kimnata. Donation receipts can not be issued, as the initiative is currently not an officially registered association. Also, we do not want to create any additional office work for the artists in the current situation.

Account holder: Asortymentna Kimnata
Account number: UA37 3366 7700 0002 6004 0525 52815
SWIFT Code: PBANUA2X
Email address (for Paypal): annapotyomkina@yahoo.com
Purpose of transfer: Charity donation for transportation of artworks in Ukraine