Have you seen "Resilience: The Heart of Ukraine" yet?
Okay, this is not a movie — it's an art exhibition. More specifically, it's a series of 30 photographs made by American photographer Michael Andrews who volunteered with United States Peace Corps in 2018–19. While in Ukraine, he also worked as a photographer for Ukraine’s Baba Yelka Cultural Expedition which was formed in 2018 to preserve and share the unique cultural traditions of Ukraine’s Kirovoghad region — stories, songs, recipes and material culture, including traditional embroidery.
The exhibition offers a unique window into remote village life before Russia’s invasion, and focuses on the lives of Ukrainian “babusyas” (grandmothers) and their cultural roots. The show debuted in Charlotte, NC in 2022, and is now on exhibit in Krannert Center's lobby (currently installed in the Foellinger Great Hall mezzanine). The exhibit is free and open to the public from 8am-10pm daily (except during concerts).
I had the privilege of working with these images on social media and the online web catalog. But small digital copies of these images do not do justice to the power of the originals, which are 20x20 inches and digitally printed on birch wood panels with UV cured ink. Trust me, it's worth a trip to Krannert Center to meet these resilient and dignified women up close and personal.
Recording recipes as part of an anthropological cultural preservation project? But of course, that's a no-brainer, it has to be done. The real question is why isn't this being done more often?