Ukrainian Institute and UN Women Ukraine have named winners of the Women in Arts Award 2021

For the third year in a row, the Ukrainian Institute and the UN Women Ukraine awarded Women in Arts winners to highlight achievements of female artists and inspire them for further work.

The winners were announced on March 12, within the HeForShe Arts Week.

In 2021, some new elements have been added to the Award. Organizers have split the “Theatre and Film” category into two separate ones. Furthermore, a new category has been introduced this year: Special Mention. It will be awarded to women whose activities cannot be assigned to any of the categories, but whose contribution to Ukrainian culture is important.

Winners of 2021

Women in Visual Arts: Alina Kleytman
Women in Music: Oksana Lyniv
Women in Theatre: Tamara Trunova
Women in Film: Iryna Tsilyk
Women in Literature: Sofia Andrukhovych
Women in Cultural Management: Yuliia Fediv
Women in Cultural Journalism, Criticism and Research: Vira Baldyniuk
Special Mention: Valeria Burlakova

“Although culture is a core of any society, we can often watch culture to be wrongly perceived as something light and entertaining. This stereotype is multiplied by the prejudices and inequality women face in their professional paths. That is why it is crucial to make talents and endeavours of Ukrainian female artists visible, and their names – well-known, in particular, onthe international arena”, comments Volodymyr Sheiko, Director General of the Ukrainian Institute.

The nominees’ projects created over the past year were evaluated by independent experts from the respective field of art, considering their potential and impact on the development of the Ukrainian culture. The Special Mention award winner was determined by a vote of the Supervisory Board headed this year by Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba. The Supervisory Board of the Award consists of diplomats and the heads of cultural institutions operating in Ukraine.

“Year after year we can see our Women in Arts Award becomes even more visible and influential. It is a good sign for us and evidence of the growing demand in Ukrainian society for the equal representation of women and men in all fields. We will continue to put in the efforts so that the role of women and their contribution to the Ukrainian culture be worthily honoured, and their achievements motivate new generations to create. In this context, important is the addition of Special Mention that makes the Award more open and inclusive”, remarks Erika Kvapilova, UN Women representative in Ukraine.

To honour 2021 winners, the organizers premiered the documentary film “Women who play games”. It features seven professional paths and life stories of the Women in Arts 2021 award winners. The partner of the premiere was Odesa International Film Festival.

A film director Nadia Parfan explains that the “Women who play games” is a collective portrait of seven winners of Women in Arts Award 2021: “This is a play movie getting us back to childhood and making to recall our origins. Heroines of the film are grown girls who “gave hell”. They will not share their success stories, but they are the ones who know the rules — and how to break them. These women dedicate themselves fully to their works, celebrate their lives, make mistakes, turn challenges to opportunities, and go on. They are the face of Ukrainian culture now”.

The premiere of the film “Women who play games” will be aired on the youth channel MEGOGO LIVE on March 13th for free. After the premiere, the film will be available for viewing exclusively and free on MEGOGO. The film can be watched in any country with English subtitles.