Ukraine: Information, Initiatives and Projects

Practical Help, Editorial Contributions and Scientific Analysis

The war in the centre of Europe is not only causing unimaginable human suffering and destruction, it is also tearing apart carefully cultivated networks. This is why the ifa is continuing to promote dialogue between German and Eastern European artists with additional programmes. 

Last year, the ifa mentoring programme was specifically aimed at Ukrainian women working in the arts and culture and people from the LGBTIQ community from Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. 
Two projects were successfully implemented in 2022:Cultural Aid Ukraine linked refugee artists and cultural workers from Ukraine with cultural institutions from Baden-Württemberg, and the mentoring programme "Mind the Gap" helped refugee women from Ukraine to gain a foothold and make connections in their countries of refuge together with mentors from the German minorities.

At the same time, ifa's academic ressources are also of great importance: through the analytical lens of foreign cultural policy, it is possible to better understand how this war evolves, what dramatic effects it has and what a path to peace might look like. From ifa's networks, experts and activists on the ground provide valuable insights into the situation and its effects on the people in Ukraine.

This whole mentoring process, it really showed me that the cultural life in general and my engagement in the cultural projects did not stop.

Sofiia Yukhymova, Arts and Cultural Manager, Mentee of the ifa-Mentoring Programme

Call for Donations

To give artists and cultural practitioners from Ukraine a perspective to continue their artistic work and to participate in cultural exchange projects, financial support is needed.

ifa Friends' Association is recognised as a non-profit association. Donations are therefore tax deductible. Donations of up to 200 euros can be claimed by presenting a deposit slip or bank statement. For donations of 200.01 euros or above, it is necessary to present an official donation receipt which can be requested from the ifa Friends' Association. The Friends' Association is also happy to accept donations from non-members:

Account Number: 2479165
Bank Code: 600 501 01
IBAN: DE71600501010002479165
Reference Line: Spende Ukraine

Learn more about ifa's Friends's Association

ifa Projects 2022 and 2023

2023: ifa-Mentoring Programme Ukraine

The mentoring programme supported refugee women and members of the LGBTIQA+ community from Ukraine who are active in the arts and culture sector. To settle in a new country, build networks there, and continue their activities, they were brought together with mentors from the various countries of refuge. The tandems met virtually and on-site and jointly developed strategies to help the mentees develop further. This created valuable connections and new friendships.

An important idea that accompanied the programme is the principle of feminist foreign policy: studies suggest that lasting peace can only be achieved if all population groups, and women in particular, are included in the process. Thus, a feminist networking event was integrated into the joint final seminar of the 2023 mentoring programme, allowing participants to engage in intensive exchange and build additional connections.

Cultural Aid Ukraine

Contact Point and Network for refugee for artists and cultural practitioners

ifa's Cultural Aid Ukraine started as a contact point for refugee cultural workers and artists from Ukraine as well as cultural organisations from Baden-Württemberg, which was organised in cooperation with the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts Baden-Württemberg. The project was concluded in February 2023, a continuation is being considered. Countless artists and cultural workers have been able to expand their network with cultural institutions in Baden-Württemberg through ifa, artistic projects have been carried out successfully, and instead of waiting in limbo, refugees have been able to pursue their vocations again and process their impressions and experiences of war artistically.

Networking, meeting other refugees, developing perspectives

As diverse as the people are who have turned to Cultural Aid Ukraine until the end of the project in 2023, so are their artistic fields of activity: Acting, illustration, architecture, sculpture and painting are just a few of them. At several networking meetings, workshops and open studio days at Kunstverein Wagenhallen in Stuttgart, acquaintances were made, plans were developed and valuable know-how was gathered for projects in Germany. A special highlight was the event 'Die geflüchtete Seele/The Refugee Soul. Ukrainian Art and Culture in the Face of War' in cooperation with the Evangelische Akademie Bad Boll. Recordings of the event are available on video.

Mentoring Programme 'Mind the Gap'

Helping where help is needed

The mentoring programme 'Mind the Gap' supported refugee women from Ukraine in finding their way in a new country. It brought them together with representatives of the German minorities in their refuge countries as mentoring tandems. Valuable friendships developed through the project. The first group finished the programme in December 2022.

An important idea that accompanied the programme is the principle of feminist foreign policy: lasting peace can only be achieved, studies suggest, if all population groups and especially women are included in the process. Therefore, the final panel discussion dealt with the topic: "Women in times of war - between the struggle for survival and feminist foreign policy".

ifa is not only involved in the work with refugees from Ukraine through the mentoring programme 'Mind the Gap'. ifa cultural managers in Eastern Europe also got involved with their host organisations directly on the ground to welcome and care for tens of thousands of people, or as ifa alumni with their own initiatives in Germany.