Freelance Underground (Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/freelance.underground/)
At the beginning of March, Lviv is considered one of the safest cities in Ukraine. Residents are sitting in cafés, musicians are playing in the streets and the weekly market is open as usual. At first glance, the streets full of old buildings look like a normal Eastern European city. Out of nowhere, the sirens of the air alarm rip the atmosphere apart. It is these moments that break the apparent normality and bring to mind the situation in which the city finds itself. Although the front is hundreds of kilometers to the east, the state of emergency is slowly creeping into the reality of people's lives. The funerals of killed soldiers in an Orthodox church or volunteers sewing camouflage nets for soldiers at the front in the city's children's library are just two examples. Countless armed volunteers and soldiers patrol the city streets. Checkpoints are set up everywhere. The city has also become a destination for internally displaced persons and a hub for people trying to leave Ukraine via Poland.
In conversations, many Ukrainians positively refer to a collective belonging to the still young state. But who can actually be part of Ukrainian society? How do marginalized people and those who are affected by discrimination fare? In Ukraine, the LGBTIQ*-community has been more visible than ever in recent years - actually a success story. That all threatens to change in the face of the Russian army's invasion in February 2022. Various young, queer people say their sexuality now plays a lesser role in their daily lives. Some are going to war despite homophobic incidents in the Ukrainian army. It is better to be able to fight for one's rights and freedoms in a sovereign Ukraine than to wake up in Putin's Russia, they say.
The exhibition "FRAGILE AS GLASS - Everyday Scenes from a Country at War" was conceived as a multimedia essay and shows, in addition to the portrait series "Fragile as Glass" by Sitara Thalia Ambrosio, pictures and videos, of everyday life in Western Ukraine at the beginning of the Russian invasion, by Raphael Knipping, Iván Furlan Cano and Michael Trammer. Fragmentarily, the state of emergency, the fears but also the hopes of young, queer people are to be traced.