“Year of Indomitability” is the name of the exhibition organised by the Delegation of the European Union in Serbia and the Embassy of Ukraine, on the occasion of one year since the beginning of unjustified Russian aggression.
The exhibition, which combines the works of the photographer of the Belgrade news agency Beta, Amir Hamzagić, and the collection created by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine shows everyday situations in the war zone, as well as the struggle of ordinary people caught up in the war. The official opening was attended by representatives of the state of Serbia, led by Prime Minister Ana Brnabić, members of the diplomatic corps and activists.
Messages of peace and support marked the welcoming speeches at the opening. The Ambassador of the European Union to Serbia, Emanuele Giaufret, says that no one can be safe in a world where the illegal use of force is normalised.
“The European Union has always been a peace project. Bringing peace to the European continent and promoting it around the world is key to the origin and DNA of the European Union. When it comes to Ukraine, the real questions today are: what kind of peace and how to achieve it? The first obvious step towards it is for peace that Russia stops its attacks,” Ambassador Giaufret said.
He adds that the EU continues to support Ukraine and that this aid comes at several levels – humanitarian, macroeconomic and military, as well as putting pressure on Russia through sanctions. He also points out that one of the main motives of the exhibition is admiration for the indomitable spirit of Ukrainians.
“Indomitability is exactly what this photo exhibition shows – the courage, determination and endurance of Ukrainians living in war conditions, in their destroyed homes and at the front,” concluded the head of the EU Delegation.
Ukrainian Ambassador Tolkach says that people in his country could not even imagine that they would be targeted because of their language, culture and nationality. They attack us solely because we are Ukrainians, but today we can say that we survived, Tolkach assesses.
“We are fighting against the aggressors thanks to strong international assistance, thanks to your support. It is symbolic that on this day, together with our partners from the EU and member states, we put up this exhibition, which shows a tragic year in the life of all Ukrainians. This exhibition was created in cooperation with the Ukrainian, international and one Serbian photographer, and the photographs testify to the heroism, suffering, hopes and victories of our people. They also testify to our friends, testify to unity,” Ambassador Tolkach concluded.
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Chargé d’affaires of the United States Embassy, John Ginkel, says that it is both an honor and a tragedy to be at such an event a year after the start of Russia’s brutal aggression against Ukraine. The pictures on display tell the story much better than anything I could say, says Ginkel, adding that this tragedy shows the unity of spirit that exists in Europe and across the Atlantic Ocean, as well as in the whole world.
After the ceremonial part, in the space where the exhibition was set up, the EU Delegation and the Krokodil association organised a panel discussion “War and Ukrainian Citizens”, in which the guests of the exhibition could talk with Ukrainian writers Ana Lysiuk and Ina Volosevich, who are currently staying in Belgrade.
Watch the video of the whole event
The exhibition will be displayed in the Ozone Gallery for the next seven days, where everyone who is interested will be able to see it.
Before the exhibition, several hundred citizens, diplomats and activists participated in the anti-war March of Peace and Solidarity through the streets of Belgrade, organized by the Embassy of Ukraine. Activists, diplomats and citizens gathered in Pioneer Park, carrying Ukrainian flags and anti-war banners. The walk ended at Republic Square, where a large Ukrainian flag was unfurled and the anthems of Ukraine and Serbia were sung.
Several speakers sent messages of solidarity with Ukraine and its citizens. The protest ended with a minute of silence for the war victims.