The Holodomor 1932-1933 Commemoration Exhibition at the IV World Forum of Ukrainians, in the Exhibition Hall on the 5th floor of the Ukrainian House, Kyiv, Ukraine, August 18-20, 2006 is part of a Holodomor education and memorial exhibition program organized by Morgan Williams.
Williams serves as Director, Government Relations, Washington Office for SigmaBleyzer, an emerging markets private equity investment group. SigmaBleyzer has been operating in Ukraine for 13 years and has over $150 million invested in Ukrainian businesses.
Williams began collecting Holodomor works by Ukrainian artists ten years ago when he lived in Kyiv and was working on the economic development of the Ukrainian food system, from producer to consumer.
From 1933 to 1988 the Soviet government did not admit that millions and millions of Ukrainians were forcefully starved to death during 1932-1933 in what is now called the `Holodomor`, the forced terror, famine, death in Ukraine.
For over 55 years artists of all types in Ukraine were not allowed to express themselves through their artistic works about the horrible tragedy imposed on Ukraine. The repression for everyone in the Soviet Union regarding real information about the Holodomor was very severe.
Only a very small handful of real photographs exits about the Holodomor. Most of the photographs, said to be taken during the Holodomor in Ukraine, were actually taken along the Volga River in Russia during the famine of 1921- 1923. These photographs were first used by the Germans in 1935 for a large anti-Soviet campaign and then by American media-mogul Randolph Hearst in front-page stories for his many newspapers.
The Holodomor Education and Commemoration Collection in Kyiv has grown over the years and now represents around 400 items including paintings, poster art, graphics, linocuts, folk art, photos and other items. Williams first exhibited the collection in Kyiv at the Ukrainian in November of 2000. Additional memorial exhibitions were held in the Ukrainian House in Kyiv in November of 2003 and 2005.
The exhibition in 2005 was opened in Kyiv November 24th on the eve of the Holodomor Memorial day. President Viktor Yushchenko launched a large program to tell the world about the Holodomor during the 75th memorial commutation in 2007-2008.
The Holodomor exhibition at the IV World Forum of Ukrainians represents only one-half of the collection. The other half is now held in a traveling exhibition sponsored by the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture. Holodomor Memorial Exhibitions are being held in 21 major cities throughout Ukraine during 2006.
Williams is working on a special historical album entitled "The Holodomor 1932-1933 Through The Eyes of Ukrainian Artists" is being created in cooperation with the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture and Lidia Lykhach of Rodovid.
Sets of posters about the tragedy are also under consideration that would be distributed to Ukrainain embassies around the world by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Several international exhibitions are also under consideration.
In May of 2004 Williams in cooperation with the Ukrainian Federation of America in Philadelphia created the Dr. James Mace Memorial Holodomor Fund. The Fund now supports the ongoing program and is the trustee of the artworks purchased from donor funds. Williams now serves as archivist of the collection.
A Gulag Education and Commemoration program has also been launched in memory of those Ukrainians who suffered under Stalin`s Gulag repression schemes.
Additional support for the Holodomor Education and Exhibition Program has been provided by SigmaBleyzer, the Kiev-Atlantic Group, David and Tamara Sweere; Estron Corporation; Bahriany Foundation; Odum, Association of American Youth of Ukrainian Descent, Minnesota Chapter; The Bleyzer Foundation; Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA; WJ Group of Ag Companies, Eugenia Sakevych Dallas, Alex and Helen Woskob, the Swift Foundation, and the Ukrainian Federation of America, Dr. Zenia Chernyk.
The Collection is always seeking historical information about the Holodomor and about artists around the world who have used their talents to express this tragedy. For further information contact Morgan Williams, P.O. Box 2067, Washington, D.C., 202 473 4707, [email protected]. In Ukraine call 8 050 689 2874 or 8 050 616 5961.