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Ukrainian Underground Art Society

Art Residency in Occupation is an underground art society created by curator Yuliia Manukian. During the occupation of Kherson, Ukraine, six resident artists secretly met in a basement studio at the initiative of Manukian to produce works that showcase the death and destruction in the southern city of Kherson, offering viewers an opportunity to understand the scope of the war. Through this residency, Manukian sought to provide shelter for artists and gave them the opportunity to tell stories of war through the language of art. While written journalism can distance an outsider from the reality of current life in Ukraine, Manukian believes that the group’s collection of drawings, paintings, photographs, diary entries, and videos convey the raw truth.

The Havel Prize will be presented to Manukian on behalf of the collective of artists who bravely united in wartime to create dozens of works — drawings, paintings, video, photography, diary entries, and stage plays — that creatively document the horrors endured by millions of Ukrainians living under Russian invasion.

Manukian is a curator, art critic, and journalist based in Odessa, Ukraine. She was shortlisted in the British Journalism Awards’ foreign affairs category for her vital, courageous, and deeply moving Kherson diaries for The Observer.

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