The Thin Line confirms why the fight continues in Ukraine

Words by
Andy Morris

17th August 2022

Photofusion presents The Thin Line, a group exhibition curated by Ukrainian curator Kateryna Radchenko,  present a first-hand account of the war in Ukraine, and life on the other side of it.

The works featured were created by 16 Ukrainian artists including Yurko Dyachyshyn, Andriy Lomakin, Volodymyr Petrov, Stas Yurchenko, Mykhaylo Palinchak, Elena Subach, Serhii Nuzhnenko, Viacheslav Ratynski, Yulia Chervinska, Oleksandr Navrotskyi, Alina Smutko, Sirhiy Hudak, Shilo Group, Pavlo Dorohoi, Igor Efimov and Kateryna Moskalyuk. 

The title of the show refers to the feeling, early in the war, of living on both sides of a thin line that separated all that was normal and mundane, and all that was inconceivable and horrific. The work travels across that line, some of it having been made before the invasion, and some of it having been made after. The overall effect is akin to memory, a tender flitting between past and present, happy, and horrid.

The Thin Line is straightforward in its intent. In Radchenko’s words ‘We, Ukrainians, are trying to stop this war and defeat Putin’s regime, and we are paying a high price for this. We must tell our story to prevent it from happening ever again, or being silenced, or interpreted in the wrong way’. ‘It’s important to show what is happening in Ukraine now,’ says Kateryna. ‘Yes, there
are many international journalists in Ukraine, covering the events daily. However, there is a big difference between pictures taken by journalists, temporarily visiting, and photographers shooting in their home cities and towns. The latter know the context and have no opportunity to go back home to a safe place after completing their assignment.’

The Thin Line was originally presented as a pop-up exhibition at Safehouse in Peckham for two days in March, an urgent presentation of the situation in Ukraine. Photofusion then partnered with Wieden & Kennedy London to present the work as a street-facing installation in Shoreditch. The work now comes to Photofusion in Brixton. August 24 will mark six months since the invasion began, and still, there is no resolution in sight.