News, Vilnius Mural

Nezlamna’ Hero Tetiana: Art That Gives Meaning to the Beauty of Ukraine in the Face of War

Nezlamna’ Hero Tetiana: Art That Gives Meaning to the Beauty of Ukraine in the Face of War

On Monday evening, a new neo-fresco titled ‘Nezlamna / Unbreakable’ dedicated to Ukraine and its people’s resilience was presented in the center of Vilnius. The residents of Vilnius and the city’s guests became a part of this art creation as they listened to the concert by the Ukrainian-Lithuanian trio ‘Maryna Pylipenko Ensemble’ and observed a unique robot painting the neo-fresco.

The new neo-fresco, spanning several hundred square meters, emerged in a prominent location near the Neris riverbank, on the building at A. Juozapaviciaus Street 9, donated by Turto bankas for the art piece.

‘Nezlamna’ is a collaborative project involving creators from Lithuania, Ukraine, and Estonia. It is dedicated to the unbroken spirit of the Ukrainian people defending their freedom, emphasizing the importance of intangible cultural heritage that unites communities and nations. The same team that turned the so-called Moscow Houses into a symbol of Ukrainian resilience with the neo-fresco ‘Do peremogi / Until victory’ implemented the ‘Nezlamna’ fresco. The first mural is currently being prepared for auction.

The opening of the event was led by the host – a Ukrainian refugee who found shelter in Lithuania and activist Svitlana Zaluzhna. She invited the Deputy Ambassador of Ukraine to Lithuania, Viktor Hamotsky, to the stage. He thanked the gathered people and emphasized that the new fresco symbolizes Ukraine as it was, is, and will be.

The Deputy Ambassador of Ukraine to Lithuania, Viktor Hamotsky

Unbroken spirit

“Even though war is a destructive force, and life in war-torn Ukraine continues amidst constant bombings, people live, work, learn, and create. This unbroken resilience of Ukraine is both surprising and inspiring for all of us, urging us not to tire, to continue supporting this country on its difficult path to victory and help it rebuild what has been destroyed. From now on, everyone walking along the Neris riverbank in Vilnius will be reminded and will send a message to the world about the unwavering strength and unbroken spirit of the Ukrainian people through the fresco ‘Unbreakable / Nezlamna,’ says Giedre Balcyte, the Chancellor of the Government.

According to one of the organizers of the project and the founder and leader of the Artscape art agency Aiste Ulubey, this artwork is a living proof that art can not only convey powerful messages to the world but also create large communities. ‘Nezlamna’ brought together artists from Lithuania, Ukraine, and Estonia, attracted a multitude of organizations, and united the Ukrainian community living in Lithuania,” says A. Ulubey.

“Throughout all these years of the Russian-led war, we, in Lithuania, were and still are together with Ukraine through thoughts, prayers, small or large personal contributions. This fresco, created through the joint efforts of talented and creative people from Ukraine, Lithuania, and Estonia, has found its place in our capital, and I believe it will serve as a kind of bridge connecting the hearts of Lithuanian and Ukrainian people, testifying to our solidarity,” said Migle Masanauskiene, one of the project organizers and the head of the secretariat of the Lithuanian National UNESCO Commission, at the event.

In Vilnius, the creation of the ‘Nezlamna’ neo-fresco was presented to immortalize the strength of Ukraine

The created ‘Nezlamna’ neo-fresco in Vilnius features the same volunteer from Zaporizhzhia, Tetiana Drobotia, who ‘captured’ the so-called Moscow Houses last year. Now she is depicted standing on a rock in the outskirts of Zaporizhzhia. The realities of war are immortalized here – the fresco uses a photo from the series by photographer Elena Tita, taken in Zaporizhzhia after Russia blew up the Kakhovka Dam.

The Power of Art to Unite

“For many, the war has become a part of the daily news flow, a routine. War is not routine. The language of art is unique and powerful. It can reach people through the heart and bypass the barriers of routine. This is what we discuss with the international team from Lithuania, Ukraine, and Estonia. We talk about Ukraine, unbroken and undefeated. And she will triumph. The more we help her, the sooner victory will come,” says Lina Slipaviciute, the artistic director of the project.

Tetiana took the stage dressed in a costume specially created by Ukrainian designers for this fresco, along with the photo’s author, Elena. The national costume interpretation includes Vyshyvanka. It is an essential part of Ukrainian cultural identity, gaining significant symbolic meaning during the 2014 Maidan uprising and the Russian-led war against Ukraine.

The artists expressed gratitude for the continuous support for Ukraine. “First and foremost, this is a project, art that showcases the beauty of Ukraine despite the ongoing war. At the same time, it conveys a message about the strong identity and beauty of Ukraine during the war and our struggle for freedom, democracy, a better future without threats from Russia. The conditions of war also help us understand who we are, where our heart is, where our home and homeland are – it gives dignity and identity. This neo-fresco ‘Nezlamna’ is about hope, beauty, even when it’s tough, we won’t stop, and we will remain strong together,” said Tetiana Drobotia.

Ukrainian Tetiana Drobotia

.This year marks the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003). On this occasion, initiatives are being held worldwide to promote, support, and create living traditional culture and intangible cultural heritage.

The large-format artwork on the building owned by Turto bankas is transferred using a unique invention created by the Estonian artists and engineers’ collective ‘Robot Muralist’ – the robot ‘Albert.’

‘Nezlamna’ is an artwork by the international creative group (‘Artscape’ Art Agency (Lithuania), Lithuanian National UNESCO Commission, Art Laboratory ‘Kiaurai sienas’ (Lithuania), public organization ‘Postlomograafia klubi’ (Estonia), and independent artists from Ukraine and Lithuania (Lina Slipaviciute, Tetiana Drobotia, Elena Tita), dedicated to Ukraine and its people.

The project is partly funded by the Chancellery of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and Turto bankas.

Organised by Art Agency ‘Artscape’, Lithuanian National Commission for UNESCO
Partners: art laboratory ‘Kiaurai sienos’
Creative and Production Group:
Neo-fresco: art director Lina Šlipavičiūtė (Lithuania), Robot Muralist (Estonia), model Tetiana Drobotia (Ukraine), photographer Elena Tita (Ukraine)
Costume: dress and necklace – designer George Lvov (Ukraine); crown – Natalia Boiko (Ukraine); costume consultant – Serhiy Bilivnenko (Ukraine), Doctor of History, expert in social anthropology, Associate Professor at the Department of History, Zaporizhzhia National University.

October 10, 2023