“Even in the darkness, there is light” – an exhibition of 100 inspiring stories about Ukrainian struggle, unity and indomitability opened in Sarajevo

On the occasion of marking one-year of the Ukrainian resistance against full scale Russian invasion, an exhibition of 100 inspiring stories and illustrations about the Ukrainian struggle, unity and indomitability called “Even in the darkness, there is light” was officially opened today in the Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo.

The exhibition was organized by the Embassy of Ukraine in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the PROI Association, in partnership with the European Union in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Embassy of Sweden, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway and the US Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The opening of the exhibition was accompanied by a panel discussion in which experts and actors of resistance and struggle from Ukraine and Bosnia and Herzegovina shared their experiences and views on the topics of community resilience and solidarity in times of adversity. The panel discussion was attended by Uliana Bakh, president of PROI, Sofia Kryshtal, manager of cultural and social projects within the group of Ukrainian illustrators Pictoric, Andrii Kryshtal, Ukrainian activist, Adis Nadarević, journalist and columnist, Oleg Slabospitsky, member of the Board of the National Ukrainian youth association – NUMO and Mateo Pejčinović, member of the youth advocacy board at PROI.

“The value of freedom cannot be quantified. Ukraine remains steadfast in its fight for freedom and will continue to do so for as long as it is necessary. Facing Russian genocidal aggression, we have no alternative but to emerge victorious in this war and bring peace not only to Ukraine, but also to the entire European continent”, stated Serhii Miniailo, Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of Ukraine in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“The Russian war against Ukraine is not a simple struggle for territory, but a clash of democratic and authoritarian systems. Ukrainians have shown immense bravery in defending not only their own country and freedom, but also the shared European values. The exhibition and event, which has brought together important partners, is a powerful reminder of the need for solidarity in the defense of peace, security, and freedom. It is essential that individuals and governments stand together to uphold these universal principles,” said Uliana Bakh, president of PROI.

“On this sad anniversary, in our temple of history, we witness strong and symbolic artistic expressions with which Ukrainian artists speak about the resistance of the spirit, culture, and dignity of their society. This is another opportunity to unitedly send a message of peace and solidarity in the light of hope, understanding, and encouragement. I am convinced that Ukraine will survive and rise proud and defiant with its brave people, ” said Benjamina Karić, Mayor of the City of Sarajevo.

“Since the beginning of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, the EU has been unambiguous in standing with Ukraine and in denouncing the war as a blatant violation of international law. As HR/VP Josep Borrell told the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, “If we do not condemn and stop Russia’s actions in Ukraine today, this increases the risk for any other country, elsewhere in the world, to face similar aggression”. Ukraine’s fight for freedom, hope, security and European values is also ours,said Ambassador Johann Sattler, Head of the EU Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina and the EU Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“The European Union’s steadfast support for the brave people of Ukrainian, suffering from the war and fighting for freedom, is the key priority of the Swedish EU presidency. Ukrainian victory is essential for a free Europe and we stand with Ukraine together with our international partners for as long as it takes.” stated Johanna Strömquist, Ambassador of Sweden Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“The people of Ukraine are putting up a heroic resistance against Russia’s aggression. The final outcome of the war depends on us Europeans and the Allies of NATO. Our support is, and will continue to be, crucial if Ukraine is to win the war. I am proud to say that the Norwegian government has last week adopted an unprecedented package of support that will help Ukraine safeguard its territory and people against Russia’s attacks and to alleviate suffering. The package to Ukraine will be worth 7,5 billion USD over a period of five years. It will ensure predictability not just for Ukraine, but also for international organizations. It shows that Norway is standing firmly by Ukraine. I would like to thank Mr. Serhii Miniailo and PROI for organizing today’s event and for inviting us to take part,” said Olav Reinertsen, Ambassador of the Norwegian Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“The Ukrainian people’s courage, fearlessness, and ability to unite to defend their country from ruthless Russian aggression is an inspiration. The United States, together with our allies and partners, will continue to support Ukraine for as long as it takes,” said Michael J. Murphy, Ambassador of the US Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The exhibition was supported and visited by diplomats and representatives of the international community in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as representatives of the government and civil society who gathered to pay tribute to the brave Ukrainian people in their year-long fight against the Russian invasion. The exhibition “Even in the darkness, there is light” and the panel discussion were an opportunity to remind of the importance of togetherness and solidarity in facing difficult times.

The exhibition will be open until March 10, 2023 in the Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and admission is free for all visitors.