News

24.06.2019

Elena and Victor Pinchuk Foundations and Veteran Hub in Partnership with NV.UA have Presented Exhibition “Touch”

On the 21st of June, 2019, the Elena Pinchuk Foundation, the Victor Pinchuk Foundation and the Veteran Hub, in partnership with the nv.ua publication, presented a photo exhibition, “Touch”, telling stories of families of the Ukrainian military. The project is aiming at helping to understand what one specifically feels after returning home from the front and what challenges are faced today by the families of veterans in Ukraine and around the globe.

For one and a half month, the NV publication has been telling stories of families of the military and their returning to peaceful life. Seven families answered openheartedly questions on ways their relationships were rebuilt after separation, captivity, wounds and long months of military service. Every story is complemented with black and white photographs that represent a couple’s emotions the best. Selected photos are on show at the Veteran Hub until September 2019.  

Elena Pinchuk, founder of Elena Pinchuk Foundation: “This project could not help coming to life at the Veteran Hub, as it is here that we are doing our best to create a circle of trust for the visitors. Hundreds of veterans and their families have enjoyed help of the Hub’s psychologists, and could preserve and improve their relationships at home. The stories of their victories over fears, painful memories and the void left after the war have to be told. It is important to understand for everybody who has been to war and those who were helping the military what path a veteran and his loved ones go through after returning to peaceful life.”

Ivona Kostina, chair of the Veteran Hub Board: “Sometimes, we tend to think that a story of war ends the way it does in a movie: a reunion at a station platform and a long embracing followed by credits and music. However, to families of the military, the moment of reunion often resembles a new acquaintance. After that, people still have to get used to transformations within each other. To me, “Touch” is an attempt to show the story of returning from war from both perspectives: from the side of those who are waiting and those who are coming back. Families of the military at home have their own, absolutely individual experience of war: fear of “subscriber cannot answer your call”, countless comments from neighbours and news reports switched on in the kitchen. We have got to hear 7 unique stories of families whose men had returned from the East. And those are different from what we had been expecting to hear.”

Yulia McGuffie, editor in chief of the nv.ua portal: “We follow attentively the media to get updates from the action area where our military are. We are happy to see them coming home alive. We are following the way they are getting integrated into peaceful life, involved in cool projects, opening cool businesses. We see what is on the surface, but we do not know what is happening inside. Therefore, “Touch” is maybe the sincerest projects on the Ukrainian Internet about Ukrainian military, one of the coolest and definitely the most sentimental, and very bold. I would like to say thank you very much to all of its participants for having found inner courage to tell their very personal stories. And I would like to thank Mykyta Zavilinsky for the staggering photographs. And we are very proud to have become the platform for this project.”

More than 361 000 Ukrainian military have got involved in countering Russia’s aggression in the East of the country in five years. Most of them have returned to civilian life, although there are those who continue their service under contract. The veterans say that one who has returned from war has to re-build their relationships with their loved ones, children and entourage. Their new experience requires rethinking and adaptation to civilian life.

The Veteran Hub is a joint project between the Elena Pinchuk Foundation, the Victor Pinchuk Foundation and CO Povratymy. It was launched in November 2018 in Kyiv. It was established for a centralized provision of services to veterans, security professionals, their families and relatives, and for support of their integration into civilian life. This is the first shared space for non-governmental organizations active in veteran affairs, combining an administrative centre for psychological and social services and an educational platform for social importance events.

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Created and supported by: «Art Depo» Creative Agency