Alina Kleytman Ukrainian queer feminist artist
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March 5, 2022
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Alina’s Kleytman’s provocative work and LGBTQI+ art projects in Ukraine

Bøwie stands with Ukraine in its difficult times and supports its population and artists more than ever. To aid humanitarian help in Ukraine, consider donating to the charities mentioned at the end of this article. May peace win.

At the core of the Ukrainian contemporary art scene, puzzling and eclectic Alina Kleytman is part of the new wave of artists putting gender and sexuality at the center of their art.

Born in 1991 in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Alina Kleytman is an artist, curator and mentor. Multifaceted artist, her supports of choice remain photography, sculpture and video. Performativity, provocation and corporality are recurring motifs in her art, which challenge stereotypes. Last April, she won the Women in Arts prize for the category Women in Visual Arts.

Alina Kleytman has been part of the independent art space “Dzherelo” since 2020. Based in Kyiv, it is a former pump room converted into an open art space. Sparking the attention of the passersby, it removes the barrier between people and art. Each exhibit focuses on problems in the city, like “Autumn of binarity” which discussed gender policies in urban spaces.

She is also very active within IZOLYATSIA, a non-profit non-governmental platform for cultural initiatives. Formerly based in Donetsk, the foundation was forced to move to Kyiv after the territory was seized. Focusing on instilling systemic change through cultural actions, it has been organizing many projects since 2010.

‘Coming-out of Isolation 2.0’ is one of those projects. In partnership with the NGO ‘KyivPride’, it aimed to fight against discrimination towards LGBTQI+ people in Ukraine. Alina Kleytman provided mentorship to the 5 selected artists, who worked on short films.

Alina Kleytman is also behind IZOLYATSIA’s last project, ‘Once upon a queer’. Uniting contemporary art with journalism and queer studies, the future online exhibition unites Polish and Ukrainian artists to work on queer history in Eastern Europe.

As Ukraine is currently facing invasion, IZOLYATSIA is pausing all of its projects to focus its efforts on humanitarian help. To support their initiative and help Ukrainians across Ukraine and abroad, you can donate directly on their website.

You can also donate to the following charities:

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