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Guest exhibition: Ground Shadows

09.09.2023 - 24.10.2023

On the 29th and 30th September 1941 a total of 33,771 Jews originating from Kyiv were shot dead near the Babyn Yar ravine. Today Babyn Yar symbolises the ‘Holocaust by Bullets’ in Ukraine. 

After the war, it was forbidden in the USSR to distinguish Jews from the rest of the Soviet people. To prevent public commemorations from being staged at Babyn Yar, the Soviet authorities established an industrial landfill site in the area, which resulted in another calamity in 1961. Following an accident near a dam, approximately one thousand people were buried alive by a mud slide.

After the demise of the Soviet Union, monuments were installed at Babyn Yar to commemorate victims of both the Holocaust and the mud slide. On 1 March 2022 Russian troops attacked Kyiv with rockets, one of which resulted in the death of five people who were on their way to the Babyn Yar memorials.

Babyn Yar is a Holocaust site where totalitarian regimes committed crimes. Nowadays Babyn Yar looks more like a wooded area or large park with trees that stand silent witness to the crimes that were committed there.

The Ukrainian artist Anna Zvyagintseva closely scrutinises the trees at Babyn Yar and reflects on the people that did not survive the Holocaust and modern warfare. The images of a tree and a human figure are interposed, telling a story about each other. The artist uses an installation of natural, fragile materials to create a more complex and nuanced representation of the world.

The ‘Ground Shadows’ exhibition runs until 24 October and entry is free of charge.

Ground Shadows’ is a joint project of IZOLYATSIA and Past / Future / Art and is organised by Oksana Dovgopolova, Kateryna Filyuk and Kateryna Semenyuk.

  • 09.09.2023 - 24.10.2023
  • Dutch, English
  • Museum: Fourth floor, panorama room
  • Free