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The wrongful cessation of the Visual Culture Research Center of NaUKMA’s activities: from censorship to repression

February 25, 2012






On Thursday, February 23rd, the Academic Council of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy passed a resolution to bar the activities of Visual Culture Research Center of NaUKMA [in Kyiv, Ukraine] after the end of the exhibition «Ukrainian Body».

Therefore, in this connection on Monday, February 27th at 13.00 VCRC announces a protest action against the acts of censorship and repression of the VCRC, which will be held near the 1st building of NaUKMA (2, Skovorody str.). The Center’s members, students and artists will demand from the NaUKMA President to cancel the decision of the Academic Council, re-open the exhibition «Ukrainian Body» and let the VCRC continue its work.

While the attention of the society and the press to the closing of the exhibition «Ukrainian Body», held at the Visual Culture Research Center, has not yet cooled down, the administration of NaUKMA and its president Serhiy Kvit decided to end the activities of the VCRC itself. In this way they ignored the results of the expert meeting with the prominent representatives of the artistic and intellectual audience, which was aimed at discussing the exhibition’s re-opening.   

After the act of censorship concerning the exhibition «Ukrainian Body», which drew a wide response in the Ukrainian and foreign media, the President of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy Serhiy Kvit has initiated a number of bureaucratic restrictions against the VCRC as the organizers of the exhibition. On February 23rd the Academic Council’s decision stopped the activities of VCRC.

The governing body of NaUKMA were exasperated by the public attention and the condemnation of censorship at the ‘most democratic’ university. As a result of the administration’s sanctions, the work of Visual Culture Research Center is no longer possible. The unexpected decision of the administration imperils the events that are planned for March – art exhibitions and the conference on feminism with participants from Poland, Russia, USA, Finland, Serbia and France.

Previously, on February 10th, 2012 President of NaUKMA Serhiy Kvit closed the exhibition «Ukrainian Body», dedicated to the study of corporality in Ukrainian society, three days after its opening. Serhiy Kvit explained his actions in the following way: «It is not an exhibition – it’s shit. » The artists’ actions against censorship, letters from international partners and the media attention did not convince the president of the university to re-open the exhibition.

More information at the Visual Culture Research Center of NaUKMA website.

For additional information, please contact the VCRC representatives by phone:

Inna Sovsun – +38 067 502 57 27

Ihor Samokhin – +38 097 985 58 73

Oleksiy Radynski –  +38 067 442 23 89

or through email.



The VCRC has been reinstated, but they still need our letters of support and solidarity to make sure it remains open and to lift the ban on the exhibition “The Ukrainian Body.”

In this video, curators David Elliott, Ekaterina Degot and Simon Sheikh speak in support of the censored exhibition.



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