March: the month the world uncovered the reality of the 1933 Holodomor

March 25,2024 563
March: the month the world uncovered the reality of the 1933 Holodomor

In late March 1933, following his return from the Soviet Union to the United Kingdom, Welsh journalist Gareth Jones released a press statement titled “Famine Grips Russia, Millions Dying”. 

This release detailed the catastrophic famine unfolding in Ukraine. His revelations were subsequently published in the Manchester Guardian and the New York Evening Post. As a consequence, Jones was forever barred from re-entering the Soviet Union. 

This event marked the point when the global community began to uncover the grim reality of the Holodomor in Ukraine – a devastating event orchestrated by the Soviet leadership that resulted in the deaths of millions.

Recently, the UWC Mission to Ukraine Director Serhiy Kasyanchuk visited the “Dolls for the Unborn” exhibition, a distinctive cultural and educational initiative in Kyiv at the National Museum of Medicine of Ukraine. 

This project aims to honor the memory and convey the truth about Ukraine’s painful past, particularly the Holodomor, through emotionally charged puppetry. The exhibit showcases over 70 puppet compositions by over 50 Ukrainian artists and members of the Ukrainian diaspora from Germany, Portugal, and Poland. It features traditional motanka dolls and contemporary frame dolls depicting the Holodomor’s tragedy.

Serhiy Kasyanchuk underscores the power of art in communicating the truth about the Holodomor and Ukrainian culture: “The language of art is the most accessible way to convey the truth about the Holodomor and about Ukraine. This exhibition speaks of our Ukrainian culture, our traditions and the tragedy of the Holodomor, which we cannot allow the world to forget,” states the Director of the UWC Mission to Ukraine.

Valeriia Levkivska, the project’s coordinator and head of the NGO “Ritual Culture of Ukraine,” passionately discusses the exhibit, which holds personal significance as her family suffered in the Holodomor – her grandfather died. Her grandmother survived the horrors but was never able to tell her descendants about it. 

“The genocide of the Ukrainian people, recognized by the whole world, is being repeated. And we should remember these events not only in November. After all, March was the most difficult, when people had no food left after the winter. We have dedicated this exhibition to the first mention on the international scene, it is an important date,” emphasizes Valeriia. 

Cover: Gareth Jones

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