University of Hull mounts photographic exhibition in the House of Commons

The University of Hull is delighted and honoured to have been invited to mount a photographic exhibition on the War in Ukraine, in the House of Commons. This exhibition is sponsored by Dame Diana Johnson, MP for Kingston upon Hull North, who describes it as, “a very powerful reminder of the human cost of this war”.  The exhibition is being shown in the Upper Waiting Hall of the House of Commons, from 17-22 February 2024.

A medic from a field hospital in Bakhmut and Mufti is photographed during his working day: Yevhen Titov, Associated Press.

The exhibition is a reduced version of an exhibition mounted in the University of Hull Art Gallery in the Brynmor Jones Library from July to September 2023, which featured some 90 photographs by international prize-winning photographers, documenting the devastating conflict during first year and a half of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  It is now shown in London close to the second anniversary of the invasion.

The exhibition seeks to illustrate, alongside the horror of the war, the valour and unshakable spirit of the Ukrainian people in the face of death and destruction.

It features the work of Ukrainian and international prize-winning photographers, including:  Evgen Maloletka (two Pulitzer Prizes and Guardian Photographer of the year, 2023), Sergiy Korovainy (James Foley Award for Conflict Coverage 2022), Dmytro Kozatsky (The Prix de Photographie Paris 2022), and Rodrigo Abd (Pulitzer Prizes 2013, 2023).

The photographs, feature the devastation of the Russian occupation of Mariupol and the heroic resistance of the defenders of the Azovstal Iron and Steel Works, as well as the ruins of Mariupol University (twinned with the University of Hull); the large scale battle for Bakhmut;  the tragic impact of the environmental catastrophe following Russia’s destruction of the Kakhovka Dam in June 2023; as well as memorable portraits of Ukrainian soldiers, doctors, and firefighters in the dramatic moments of their military and everyday life.

The project of bringing the exhibition to the Commons has been led by Chris Awre, the University Librarian. The exhibition has been curated by John Bernasconi, Director of the University Art Collection; in close cooperation with Olena Hatton, a Ukrainian writer and journalist; the distinguished Hull photographer Alec Gill MBE who was involved in selecting the photographs for the original exhibition; and an extensive team from both inside and outside the University.

John Bernasconi, Director of the Hull University Art Collection, said: “It is a great privilege to be able to bring this exhibition to the House of Commons, recording the Ukraine war through the work of some of the world’s leading war photographers. These striking and often moving images show the horror and destruction of the conflict alongside inspiring scenes of courage and hope. Among the vast media coverage of the invasion, these photographs are probably the images that will remain longest in our minds.”

Exhibition partner:  Serhiy Prytula Charity Foundation (Ukraine).