Anton Shebetko

To Know Us Better

Anton Shebetko (1990, Ukraine) portrays Queer Ukrainians who are living or temporarily staying in Europe. The series shows people who moved to Europe after Russia's occupation of Crimea, the war in the East in 2014 and Russia's full invasion in 2022. The portraits and heartfelt interviews in this exhibition document their experiences and hopes for a better future.

About the exhibition

Anton Shebetko uses extensive research to highlight the Queer history of Ukraine and its absence in this nation's public memory. He works actively with members of the Ukrainian LGBTQ+ community who flourished as a community, despite living in a conservative Ukrainian society. Through interviews and archival research, Shebetko strives to construct a public memory and raise awareness for the national queer community.

Alongside personal accounts, a timeline has been drawn that highlights key moments in the history of this community. The timeline starts with the historical oppression and leads toward gained visibility over the past few years.

Laslo, from the series To Know Us Better © Anton Shebetko.

Foam Editions print for charity

Foam Editions offers a limited edition print by Anton Shebetko. All proceeds of this sale will go to humanitarian funds in Ukraine.

About the work:
Simeiz is a small village on the South Coast of occupied Crimea. The place is known for its self-organised underground gay resort which operates since late Soviet times, though the exact dates are unknown. The Swan Wing Rock is one of two places in the village which attracted visitors. The nude beach was organised at the foot of the rock. Approximately 4000 gays, lesbians and Queers visited this place every year before the annexation. The majority were from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus. On every purposely damaged image, you can see the gay paradise that is now threatened by the Russian occupation. 

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Swan Wing Rock, 2021 © Anton Shebetko.

Donate to one of the charities selected by Anton Shebetko

Ukrainian LGBTQ+ and feminist NGO Insight collects donations to support LGBTQI+ people during the war in Ukraine via providing psychological and legal support, medicines, hormones and food, and helping with relocation. They also have three safe houses (shelters) for a permanent stay.

Ukraine Emergency Art Fund
Dealing with the consequences of the Russian invasion and threats the war poses on the Ukrainian art community (MOCA) Museum of Contemporary Art NGO - in partnership with Zaborona, The Naked Room and Mystetskyi Arsenal - established the Ukrainian Emergency Art Fund. Their task is to ensure the continuity and development of the Ukrainian cultural process during the war. With help of donations, the organisation provides one-time financial aid or stipends for up to three months for cultural workers.

Blood Agents
The organisation is helping procure important tactical medicine, which is needed not only to save the lives of wounded soldiers but also to provide first aid to civilians and emergency workers near the front lines.

For more information or press requests, please see here or contact our press office at pressoffice@foam.org.

This exhibition is organised on the occasion of Pride Amsterdam 2022.

Foam is supported by the VriendenLoterij, Foam Members, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, the VandenEnde Foundation and the Gemeente Amsterdam.

Kinder Limo, from the series To Know Us Better © Anton Shebetko

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Anton Shebetko

To Know Us Better