Poster exhibition | 10 Treffen: Responsibility Treffen

War on Distance

Graphic design of a woman looking at the head of a peace dove with a magnifying glass. However, the magnifying glass does not show the head of a white dove, but two heads of a red eagle.

Tanya Yakunova: “Pigeon” © Tanya Yakunova / Ukraine / Pictoric

An exhibition of posters by Ukrainian artists and graphic designers explores the category of distance in war: political, metaphysical, temporal, philosophical, economic and cultural. Drastic messages relating to the struggle for freedom and democracy are intertwined with personal stories of everyday life in war.

This event is part of the Responsibility Treffen.

At Theatertreffen, graphic works made by over 20 Ukrainian artists will be presented. Through the dynamic and bright illustrations, Ukrainian artists and graphic designers create the political narratives and represent the ongoing tragedy of Ukrainian society. Most of the artists, despite having become internal refugees because of the war, remain in Ukraine and continue to create posters that encompass the war crimes of Russia.

This exhibition of posters was created in cooperation with the Ukrainian Institute, which opened a representative office in Berlin in the spring of 2023. It includes two projects:

“With the help of art, we strive to show the destruction, pain, and losses that the Russian military brought to Ukraine. But Ukrainians respond to constant terror with resolute courage and readiness to fight for victory: to liberate all Ukrainian towns and villages in order to rebuild a better country. It is important for Ukrainians to feel that we are not alone in this struggle, so we are grateful to all the countries and people who support us. Through the illustrations, we want to show what we are fighting for and against. Who and what is our enemy. And we hope you will join us in this quest for justice, humanity, and ultimately peace.”
– Anna Sarvira, Olena Staranchuk, Oleg Gryshchenko (curators “SUPPORT UKRAINE PROJECT”, Pictoric)

About the projects:


“UKRAINIAN WARTIME POSTERS” is a charity art project created in New York, USA after Russia’s full-scale invasion of the sovereign territory of Ukraine on 24 February 2022 by a group of Ukrainian volunteers and social activists. Arthur Zgurov (Odesa), Anastasia Tsiunchik (Odesa) and Olena Speranska (independent curator and director of the international art residency BIRUCHIY, Kyiv) intended to draw the world’s attention to Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, daily bombardments of critical infrastructure, destructions of cities and civilian casualties. The project aims to remind everyone that the brutal war continues and Ukrainians is dependent on heavy weapons to protect their homeland and to ensure the survival of the nation. Initially, the art project consisted of 150 graphic artworks created by 10 Ukrainian contemporary artists during active hostilities in Ukraine. The collection continues to grow, developing the list of participants and expanding the number of artworks. The “UKRAINIAN WARTIME POSTERS” art exhibition was already presented three times in the US: at the Blue Gallery, New York, September, 2022; the Ent Center for The Arts, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, November 2022; the Museum of Tolerance, Los Angeles, December 2022 (during the premiere of the documentary movie “Freedom on Fire” by Evgeny Afineevsky). In February 2023 the art project was presented at the 571 Oxford Road Gallery, Reading, Great Britain.


All posters from the “SUPPORT UKRAINE PROJECT”, curated by Olena Staranchuk, Oleh Gryshchenko and Anna Sarvira, were made by Ukrainian illustrators after the start of the full-scale war with Russia. Some of them worked on illustrations from basements and bomb shelters, and some worked from an evacuation train. Some works were created from abroad when the artists were safe, but the anxiety for loved ones in Ukraine never left them.

Anna Sarvira is an illustrator, curator, art director and co-founder of the Pictoric Illustrators Club. She was twice included in the list of 75 best illustrators of the world at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair (2017, 2019). In 2022 she received an Adobe Community Fund grant and a scholarship from the German Academy of Arts, won gold in the “Media Illustration” category of the Joseph Binder Award and the international illustration contest “Landscapes and portraits”, organised by the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. She was shortlisted for the Nami Concourse Exhibition (South Korea) in 2018.

Olena Staranchuk is an illustrator, curator, graphic designer and co-founder of the Pictoric Illustrators Club. She received The White Raven Award (2015) and was repeatedly awarded by the Ukrainian “Best Book Design” contest (2018 – 2020). She collaborated with Ukrainian and European publishing houses and illustrated and designed over 50 books.

Oleg Gryshchenko is an artist, illustrator, curator, art director and co-founder and curator of the Pictoric Illustrators Club. He also works as a lecturer at the National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture in Kyiv. A recipient of the Ukrainian Triennial of Book Graphics Award (2013), he was shortlisted for PinchukArtPrice (2013) and The White Raven (2015) and received the International Festival of Illustration “COW” Award (2017) and the Ukrainian Triennial of Graphics Award (2018).

With works by

Nastya Gaydaenko, Oleksandr Grekhov, Artem Gusev, Mykola Honcharov, Zukentiy Horobyov, Katya Lisov, Dasha Podoltseva, Oleksiy Sai, Nikita Shylimov, Nikita Titov, Albina Yaloza, Oleg Gryshchenko, Mari Kinovych, Kostya Martsenkivskyi, Grasya Oliyko, Jenya Polosina, Anna Sarvira, Oleh Shcherba, Nataliia Shulga, Yulia Tveritina, Tania Yakunova

The poster exhibition is funded by the Ukrainian Institute.

The event is funded by the Federal Agency for Civic Education/bpb.