From Ukraine With Very Complex Feelings


Throughout the period of Russia's full-scale invasion, Ukrainian artists have redirected their typical creative output in various ways, from public activism to highly personal meditations. In this presentation of works by illustrator Zhenya Oliinyk, the artist's struggle to reconcile the various impulses and obligations generated by Ukraine's wartime reality is externalized in serial format, cuttingly tapping the self-reflectivity of the comics medium.

Zhenya Oliinyk is an illustrator and cartoonist born and based in Kyiv, Ukraine. She is a cultural studies researcher and a former journalist. She has been as a freelance illustrator with a focus on editorial illustration since 2018. Her most common topics are equality, feminism, history, trauma, mental health, and other challenging social issues, but she also occasionally enjoys drawing plants and food. Zhenya was working on a commission about the Russian censorship in Ukrainian theatre in the 19th century when the Russian full-scale invasion started. She fled to Lviv but returned to Kyiv shortly after. Ever since then she has been creating graphic stories about her experience of living in a country under attack.
Published 8 March 2023