The Web3 Community Fundraises for Ukraine: Can Art Really Save the World?
laCollection.io, a Web3 art platform, talks to United Artists for Ukraine, a recent initiative by the collective United Artists to help rebuild Ukrainian culture.
On February 26, 2022, the Ukraine government’s official Twitter account wrote that it would start accepting cryptocurrency donations. Several sales of NFTs surfaced, including NFTUkraine, RELI3F, JR’s solidarity NFT project, SuperRare, the Meta History Museum and UkraineDAO backed by Pussy Riot. In the words of the Washington Post, the Ukrainian conflict is “the world’s first crypto war.”
As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, the collective United Artists has partnered with laCollection.io to launch the initiative “United Artists for Ukraine.” According to UNESCO, over 150 cultural sites are partially or totally destroyed. The collective of United Artists call for “United Artists for Ukraine”: an initiative to help rebuild Ukrainian culture.
What is United Artists?
United Artists is a global community of artists, gallerists, collectors, curators, and art lovers who care about preserving the conditions for art and culture to blossom, including Marina Abramović, Ron Arad, Douglas Gordon, Thaddaeus Ropac Gallery, or Perrotin Gallery. It was founded by The Hexagon Society Foundation, a Franco-British charity at the origin of “United Artists for Europe”. In June 2019, in the midst of the Brexit crisis, a major exhibition followed by a sale had been organized to demonstrate the commitment from the collective’s artists in favour of European culture in the United Kingdom at the initiative of Bernard-Henri Levy, Thaddaeus Ropac and Simon de Pury. Thirty works by artists from the collective were sold for the benefit of Europa Nostra and Artagon.
“United Artists for Ukraine” was recently set-up to protect Ukrainian cultural heritage, help museums safeguard their masterpieces and provide resources to artistic projects in the country. Instead of selling physical artworks, artists donate their personal time.
Can you tell us more about “United Artists for Ukraine”?
United Artists for Ukraine is releasing a series of digital collectible membership cards on laCollection.io giving access to exclusive lifetime membership and rewards. Designed by rising Ukrainian artist Irina Ozarinskaya, these membership cards portray the most renowned artists in history. Collectors will support Ukrainian cultural institutions and enjoy a vibrant annual program proposed by members of the collective, including Marina Abramović, Ron Arad, Douglas Gordon, Thaddaeus Ropac Gallery, or Perrotin Gallery.
The reason we chose to use laCollection.io was to make the project very inclusive and international. Our members are cross generational and our initiative is cross border. We wanted to make sure that people found it accessible to donate as well as buy, a one stop shop.
What will be the main actions carried out by the “United Artists for Ukraine” collective?
Proceeds will go to the main Ukrainian cultural institutions, carefully selected with the help of the Ukrainian Institute of Culture: Odesa Fine Arts Museum, National Art Museum of Ukraine, Ukrainian Institute, and Ukrainian Cultural Foundation. When the war stops, they will not be prioritized to receive reconstruction funding.
We are also partners of “Ukrainian VR Pavilion” which allows the Ukrainian museums which are currently closed to exhibit in the metaverse. We selected works by the country’s creators, in a venture that marks the latest chapter in dslcollection and V-Art’s ongoing partnership.
And we also raise awareness to the constant looting of Ukrainian art and bombing of its historical heritage.
How will the raised funds be used by the Ukrainian Cultural Institutions?
Six projects will be financed with the sale of membership cards. Among the beneficiaries will be three major museums that desperately need financing to protect their historic buildings and their masterpieces from the war, the Ukrainian Cultural Institution, the Ukrainian cultural funds with various international projects, Shelter which is hosting Ukrainian artists, as well as NGOs in cinema and poetry.
We intend to raise more than €1M with this first NFT collection across various events after Paris: beginning with London, Monaco, Zurich and New York.
Why use NFTs as a tool to drive relief efforts in the war-torn country of Ukraine?
Due to the liquidity of cryptocurrencies, as well as the transparency that the blockchain ledger provides, NFTs have become a tool for art communities looking to support Ukraine. With the urgency of the situation, replicating a fundraising event where physical artwork is auctioned would have been too long and risky.
This crisis has illustrated another use case for crypto and NFTs: a means to directly funnel resources into a country in dire need of support.