Days of Culture Switzerland-Ukraine: to discover and tell a story of friendship


Over the past year, Switzerland has not only extended a helping hand to Ukraine, but has also become a second home for thousands of its citizens who, as a result of the war, have been forced to seek refuge, understanding and support in various countries around the world.

Struck by the war, the resilience of the Ukrainians and the pain of Ukrainian families, Switzerland gladly opened its heart to them. Lugano almost immediately became the centre of activities aimed at helping Ukrainians to rebuild their inner resources, regain their desire to dream about something and to start planning again.

"The main goal of this project is to place the city of Lugano on the international cultural map, because exhibitions, events, concerts and installations of modern art will only underline the importance of our canton", says the representative of the organizers, Maia Butkova, president of the Amicizia dei Popoli association.

Like good families and friends, Swiss and Ukrainians spend a lot of time together in business and conversation. This has brought them very close emotionally. They have willingly continued to get to know each other, creating new paradigms of sincere European solidarity.

Days of Culture Ukraine-Ticino and today's events makes the people of these two countries feel closer - in terms of strength, strong character, diversity of cultural achievements and views of a modern free man. This is the atmosphere created by the organizers, which is very representative of the southern canton of Switzerland: open sympathy, an open smile and a very tangible reliable shoulder of a friend.

For two weeks, the people of Lugano will have the opportunity to see and hear famous artists from the Canton of Ticino, admired by the whole world, as well as talented artists from Ukraine. Visitors will also get to know Ukrainian traditions. The audience is invited to immerse themselves in the world of painting, music and dance. They can find works of art in harmony with themselves among sculptures and photographs, and see clothes made by talented designers from Ukraine and Switzerland.

The creation of a symbolic artistic space where the cultures of two countries, Ukraine and Switzerland, are intertwined is the main artistic idea: Ukraine and Switzerland.

The main event will be the art exhibition "Horizons", where more than 120 exhibits will be on display, among them Ukrainian works, which took part in Sotheby's auctions.

The organizers are confident that this event will be an important contribution to the understanding of culture. It will show the Swiss community that Ukraine belongs to the European family in terms of values.

The first day: discovery

On January 23, as part of the Ukraine-Ticino Days of Culture, the "Horizons" art exhibition opening took place in the city of Lugano. The event was organized by the Amicizia dei Popoli association.

Musicians from Lviv Philharmonic and Swiss Music Academy, Tiziano Rossetti, La Scala tenor Zi-Zhao Guo and soprano Olga Romanko, Lugano Jazz Quartet, unique world bands "Trembita of Ukraine" and "Roots" performed at the opening of the Ex-Asilo Ciani "Switzerland" exhibition.

Lyudomir Medved - ”ADAM AND EVE”, 2022

The event was attended by the Mayor of Lugano Michele Foletti, Ambassador of Ukraine to Switzerland Iryna Venediktova, Project Manager of the Swiss Embassy in Ukraine and Advisor to the Ambassador of Ukraine Olena Chernezhenko, the Deputy Mayor of Lugano in charge of culture and sports Roberto Badaranka, representatives of the Ministry of Culture, the Director of International Cooperation of the Lviv Regional State Administration Roman Shypilyak, representatives of the Pinchuk Art Center and the Art Director of the Kozytskyi Charitable Foundation Khrystyna Beregovska were present at the event.

The project aims to support Ukraine. All the money raised will be used to provide humanitarian aid, medicine and basic necessities.

"Horizons" Exhibition: from the name to the mission

The "Horizons" exhibition, which became the key installation of the artistic space of all events, presents more than 120 exhibits of Swiss and Ukrainian creators. The name of the exhibition is very metaphorical: it is first of all a reflection of the inner and outer emotional state of each Ukrainian and it will be meaningful to each visitor. It is also an expression of hope that sooner or later we will see a restored and prosperous Ukraine, free of war.

"With this project we want to show Ukraine as a country that is in need not only of economic and geopolitical reconstruction, but also of cultural revival. Currently, we have 64 museums with all archives and spare parts completely destroyed by the war. Many works, which are the property of the nation, were taken abroad under the guise of private collections. That is why we presented this art project as a separate event within the Days of Culture," said Maya Butkova of the Amicizia dei Popoli association.

The funds raised by the project will be used for humanitarian aid in Ukraine. In particular, half of the amount from the sale of the exhibited paintings will be used to support orphan students: life necessities and education financing.

Due to the war, many artists did not have time to finish their education and had to evacuate from the war zones to Lviv. The "Kozytskyi Charity Foundation" helped them, providing workshops and bringing artists to the exhibition in Lugano.

Anastasia Gromova  - "NOISE I", 2022

Horizons of Modern Art

Within the first few minutes, you realize that there is something much bigger than you can imagine between the bold lines of modern art. Switzerland is represented in the exhibition by several bright and charismatic paintings, in particular the works of Sergio Main, "Maestro" by Jean-Pierre Groppi (Groppx), paintings by Roberto Conforti, Mario Lofrano, Gabriela Spector, Sonia Bro, Evelina van der Wielen and many more.

In the context of recent events, Nearby is a concise and at the same time extensive narrative of the new Ukrainian artistic experience and human understanding. Works by Myroslav Yagoda, Lyubomyr Medvyd, Yevhen Lysyk (not for sale), Bohdan Oliynyk, and others are on display.

Lyubomyr Medvyd is one of the top 10 most famous Ukrainian artists. His series of paintings "Reminiscences" are well known outside Ukraine and are immediately recognizable. One of his works is the diptych "Target - Crown", in which a person is presented with a target on his forehead.

Lyudomir Medved - ”TARGET-CROWN”, 2022

"In one of his interpretations, he shows that anyone can become a target. But not literally. A target of propaganda, for example. But it is in the power of each one of us not to become a victim of brainwashing. If we succumb to provocation, we become clients and soldiers of the information war," Maya Butkova explains.

The muted conditions for the creation of these paintings include a restrained but powerful discourse of color and contextual reading. Some canvases were painted under extreme conditions, as evidenced by works with shrapnel. There are artists who have painted while they were directly in the epicenter of military operations - in basements and bomb shelters, without adequate lighting.

Lesya Ros - ”TERRA”, 2022

"Most of the works are not aggressive. They are written in calm tones. At the same time," Maya shows us paintings accompanied by an expert opinion, "the authors have managed to convey the psycho-emotional state in which we all find ourselves today.

The gallery takes us from hall to hall. Exhibits, opinions, stories change. You try to distinguish the new emotion you have just caught among the series of impressions and the existential depth of the works. It will take you to a place farther away, deep in another hall, to new horizons without war. Horizons full of hope, life, confidence and inspiration.

Days of culture programme Switzerland-Ukraine

Lugano, from January 23 - February 3.

Art exhibition "Horizons” at Ex-Asilo Ciani

Weekdays 15:00-19:00

Weekends 12:00-16:00

Under the patronage of the Municipality of Lugano, the event is organized on the initiative of the Amicizia dei Popoli.

1 February, Wednesday

Main venue - Palace of Congresses Lugano

- From 15:00 to 19:30 there will be an opportunity to buy products of Ukrainian brands and visit part of the exhibition (10 artists will be presented over two days);

- Interactive photo exhibition "10 Angels of the War in Ukraine" - testimonies of journalists who witnessed the war for 10 months;

- Ticino and Ukrainian artists' master classes.

To register, contact the organizing committee at 091 9701000,

19:30 - Concert by world star, "Okean Elzy" group leader Svyatoslav Vakarchuk with a solo programme.

2 February, Thursday

Main venue - Palace of Congresses Lugano

- Children's workshop "Children against war", where kids from Ticino canton will create a unique canvas;

- Flash mob "Against gender violence" organized by the association "Never alone again".

Both canvases will be donated to the City of Lugano.

19:30 - The Legendary National Academic Honored Ensemble named after Pavlo Virskyi, whose every show is a genuine dance masterpiece with true Ukrainian energy and color, will perform.

3 February, Friday

Main venue - Ex-Asilo Ciani

19:00 - At the end of the Cultural Days and the finissage, an installation by Ukrainian fashion designer Elena Reva and Swiss design group Amorphose.

In an enchanting fashion installation by the Amorphose group the fashion designer will present the "Peace Dove '' - his own message to the world for faster peace in Ukraine

Tickets are available for all events of the Cultural Days:

or/and in the Amicizia dei Popoli association: Contrada Vecchio Municipio 2,

Castagnola 091 970 910 00


This event was organised with the support of the Swiss Embassy in Ukraine, we thank the Embassy for the given information.


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