Introduction: Meanwhile in Mariupol

Voices from Mariupol

Since Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014, Mariupol has played an important strategic role in the Russian-Ukrainian war. Russia attacked Ukraine on the 24th of February 2022, with Mariupol being one of the hardest-hit cities. ​When writing this text, the city is occupied by Russian forces and the future for its former inhabitants is unknown.

This exhibition features photographs by Mariupol-born journalist Viacheslav Tverdokhlib. During the blockade he lived in a cellar while at the same time recording the city decay. On the 23rd day of the siege, he left the city on foot. Despite the deadly risk, he managed to save the photos. The last picture was taken on March 22. ​

​The exhibition is a collaboration between the National Swedish Museums of Military History, the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War, the Nordic Ukraine Forum, the Ukrainian Association of Östergötland and, above all, the individuals who shared their experiences of the siege of Mariupol in 2022.

In this exhibition, six women from Mariupol share their experiences of the war. Each of them has chosen a photo from Viacheslav Tverdokhlib’s collection and from that narrated their own experiences with texts and photos. ​ All participants are presented with pseudonyms.

​The content is presented in six different themes: Life and Death, Chaos, To survive, Grey Zones, Tough Choices, and Escape. Each person’s story is linked to one of these themes. All men invited to participate declined. As the conflict is still ongoing, participation may be perceived as risky.​

​The exhibition includes an animated film, based on the diary that the 9-year-old boy Egor wrote during the siege of Mariupol.​ Swedish voice by Mila Söderström Gonzalez.

A sincere thank you to everyone who has contributed.