Artist Talks and Panel Discussion

On the opening day of the exhibition, a series of events provides a close-up of the issues at stake.

Conversations with featured artists give insights into their individual practices and experiences of the war, but also into the Ukrainian art scene, which over the last decade has produced many vibrant contexts and figures. Curators Mirela Baciak and David Riff talk to artists Pavel Brăila, Kateryna Lysovenko, Dana Kavelina, Zoya Laktionova, and Mykola Ridnyi.

With the war, Eastern Europe is once again in the spotlight. How do the changes in the broader region affect Austria—a country whose former empire included large portions of Western Ukraine? How do Austrians view this region, other than as a source of cheap labor or a place of high-risk, high-profit investment? Can history be of any help in understanding the war? To what extent were its traumas anticipated by previous wars? These and related questions will be dealt with in a panel discussion with journalist Herwig G. Höller, writer Julya Rabinowich, and historian Peter Ruggenthaler.

Panel discussion participants

Herwig G. Höller (1974, Rottenmann, Austria) is a journalist, art critic, and Slavonic Studies scholar. His investigative journalism and analyses focus on Russia and Ukraine, with a special emphasis on foreign policy and culture. After working for the weekly Falter for many years, he has been a correspondent for the Austria Presse Agentur since 2014.

Julya Rabinowich (1970, St. Petersburg, Russia) is a writer, columnist, and painter, as well as an interpreter. Her novels include Spaltkopf (2008), Herznovelle (2011), Die Erdfresserin (2012), and Krötenliebe (2016). Her first book for young people, Dazwischen: Ich (2016), was awarded several major prizes. It was followed by Hinter Glas (2019) and Dazwischen: Wir (2022).

Peter Ruggenthaler (1976) is deputy director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institut für Kriegsfolgenforschung and a member of the Österreichisch-Russische Historikerkommission. He has been researching the Cold War, especially neutrality and Soviet foreign policy, since 1998. His study The Concept of Neutrality in Stalin’s Foreign Policy, 1945–53 was published in 2015.

1.7., 13:00

Neue Galerie Graz
8010 Graz
♿ Venue accessible for wheelchairs



Mykola Ridnyi

Pavel Brăila

Kateryna Lysovenko

Coffee break

Dana Kavelina

Zoya Laktionova

Coffee break

Austria and the War in Ukraine: Can History Be of Any Help?
Panel discussion: Herwig G. Höller, Julya Rabinowich, Peter Ruggenthaler

Opening speeches

Intervention by Kateryna Lysovenko, What Does My Dead Nine-Month-Old Uncle Think About His Debt to the Empire