Exhibition on pioneering women in Ukraine

An exhibition running at Catz this term will tell the stories of a series of pioneering women from Ukraine.

The exhibition examines 14 women: those who have accomplished something unique in the past and those who are doing so now, those who have built up their communities and unlocked new pathways for the next generations of women.

A black-and-white portrait of a Ukrainian woman, created using a paper-cutting technique.Seven women from Ukraine’s past and seven contemporary women have been chosen, with the exhibition aiming to make their stories more widely known.

A fifteenth profile presents an imaginary portrait of the ‘unknown Ukrainian woman’ (pictured here).

Each story is accompanied by a portrait of the woman in question, created using a traditional Ukrainian technique of paper-cutting called vytynanka.

Each was created by Olena Marchyshyna, a Ukrainian artist and graphic designer from Kyiv, now based in Belgium following the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Visiting the exhibition

The exhibition runs in the College library until the Christmas break, after which it will be loaned to the Taylor Institution Library.

To visit it at Catz, please contact the library on (College members may visit without prior arrangement.)

If you are unable to attend the exhibition in person, you can find the images and stories of each of the women, alongside further project outputs, on the project webpages:

View the exhibition and project material in English »

View the exhibition and project material in Ukrainian »

A close-up image of the exhibition, showing a row of portraits of Ukrainian women.

About the project

Pioneering Women in Ukraine is a research and impact project on Ukrainian women’s creative history, funded by the University of St Andrews, Global Challenges Research Fund, Scottish Funding Council and Heinrich Boell Foundation, Ukraine. The project was carried out collaboratively in 2019-2021 by the School of Modern Languages (St Andrews), Gender in Detail Media Platform, and Creative Women Space (Ukraine).

The project team:

  • Dr Margarita Vaysman, Senior Lecturer, University of St Andrews and Visiting Fellow at Catz, Trinity term 2022 (Project Investigator)
  • Dr Tamara Zlobina (Co-Investigator)
  • Consultants: Daria Nepochatova and Anna Dovgopol
  • Translation: Dr Sasha Dovzhyk
  • Support installing the exhibition: Barbara Costa, St Catherine’s College Librarian

Earlier this year an exhibition also ran in College about Aleksandr Aleksandrov (born Nadezhda Durova), a Russian-Ukranian genderqueer hero of the Napoleonic wars and a prolific and celebrated author.

Details of all events at Catz can be found on the College events page.

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