The War up Close Project team prepared their first world tour dedicated to the anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Several cities in different parts of the world were chosen to organise immersive exhibitions. The main purpose of the events was to show how the Russian invaders were destroying our cultural heritage, social infrastructure and life in their attempt to erase the Ukrainian identity and the right to be preserve our self.
The first exhibition was held on February 22 in the Victims of Communism Museum in Washington. The project was presented by Mykola Omelchenko, a photo journalist of the War Up Close Project and the first Google Trusted Photographer in Ukraine, as well as Oleksii Syvak. The VR glasses enabled the visitors of the exhibition to immerse themselves into the terrible reality caused by Russia’s war and to see the destruction of Kyiv, Chernihiv and Kharkiv regions in detail.
After the event was over, we gave away fifty pairs of immersive glasses to the Ukraine House in Washington so that the people who could not attend the event on February 22 could still feel the largest war of XXI century up close.
The exhibition lasted one day only, but it drew a response and lots of positive reviews, both among representatives of the expatriate community and Americans.
“It is an extremely powerful project that uses the virtual reality to help you see the effects of Russia’s war crimes in Ukraine with your own eyes: you can walk along the streets of the ruined cities and towns, get into shelled houses, and understand the scale of the war-scarred settlements and lives. It is especially touching to see my hometown Bucha in the list of the ruined cities and towns… The crimes against Ukraine, the crimes against our people, and the crimes against humanity must and have to be punished”.
“The war started in Ukraine in 2014. It seemed to be far away to some people. However, the War is up close, the #war is at your doorstep. Every #Ukrainian must hear of the war, the entire world must hear of the war in Ukraine. Russian citizens are guilty of this war!”
The tour was organised with the partners’ support: USAID, the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, the Embassy of Ukraine in the USA, United Help Ukraine, CFC Big Ideas, and Funberry. The tour will also include exhibitions in Berlin, Paris, Warsaw and Brussels.