On February 24, 2022, all employees of the “Territory of Terror” Museum met in the office of the museum, Sholom Aleichem str. We realized even then that we had a long struggle ahead of us. On the first day of the war, we taped the windows, bought the necessary household goods, and replenished water supplies. Everything was done to cover the primary needs of the institution. We had a lot of work ahead of us to preserve funds, and collections, help employees of other museums, move our partners – the Luhansk Regional Museum of Local History from the city of Starobilsk, etc. But on the first day, we thought about how to preserve the museum now.
We understood that the priority was to preserve our collection and exhibits. So we turned to our partners for packaging materials. We were lucky enough to get them thanks to cooperation with the Heritage Emergency Response Initiate (initiator Ihor Poshyvailo) and the Department for the Protection of the Historical Environment (head Lilia Onishchenko). We were also supported by foreign partners: Polish Support Center for Culture in Ukraine, Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa, Ministerstwo Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego, Stołeczny Konserwator Zabytków, Fundacja Dziedzictwa Kulturowego. The materials were also obtained thanks to the coordination and logistics of the State Museum of Natural History (Lviv) (Natalie Dzyubenko and Andriy Bokotey), with the support of the Komitet Pomocy Muzeom Ukrainy and ZMIN foundation.
One of the first institutions that supported the museum was the International Alliance for the Protection of Cultural Heritage in Conflict areas, the ALIPH Foundation, based in Switzerland. The Foundation provides micro-grants for the protection of cultural heritage in Ukraine and helps museums preserve their collections.
Thanks to the support of the ALIPH Foundation, humanitarian aid in the form of packaging materials, office equipment, fire-resistant document cabinets, video systems, protective shutters, and other necessary equipment was brought to the “Territory of Terror” Museum.
Another important institutional partner of the Museum was and remains the House of Europe, a program financed by the European Union, created to support professional exchange between Ukrainians and their colleagues in EU countries and Great Britain.
We met for the first time in 2020 when the “House of Europe” announced a competition for infrastructure grants during the COVID times. Then, thanks to their support, we strengthened the technical issue of the Museum. Later the House of Europe supported the implementation of the “Lost Childhood” international project, the main goal of which is the launch of the “Lost Childhood” online platform, which contains the stories of those who were repressed as children and survived the severe trauma of deportation. The results of the project will become the basis for the exposition of the branch Museum — the Museum of Juvenile Political Prisoners and the Repressed Children. Another result of the project was the opening of the street exhibition “Lost Childhood: Heard and Unseen” on the museum square in Lviv, as well as in Prague (Czech Republic). In addition, we launched the “Lost Childhood” online platform.
With the beginning of a full-scale war in Ukraine, thanks to the support of the “House of Europe” we were able to purchase the necessary equipment, strengthen a storage facility, and the security of our premises.
Before the start of a full-scale russian war, we planned to organize a residence of European artists for the artistic reflection of our funds. However, we are sure that our cooperation will only strengthen in the future!
At the Museum, we follow the principles of data protection and digital security. Now, this issue has become especially relevant. We have been working on uploading all the digital data to the cloud storage for a month. More than 12 terabytes of information: photos and video interviews of the #unheard project, audio files, documents, descriptions of funds, and collections. The work was coordinated by Taras Rizun, the chief custodian of the funds of the “Territory of Terror” museum.
In this context, we would like to say thank you to our partners of the Memory Network – Netzwerk Erinnerung for the financial support of this activity. Thanks to them, we were able to purchase more additional space on the cloud storage and save all the Museum’s electronic materials collected over a long period.
Permanent partnerships are an important component of the “Territory of Terror” sustainability. We closely cooperate with the Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Life in Lviv named after Klimentii Sheptytskyi, together with the Museum Crisis Center, founded by the director of our Museum, Olha Honchar. Thanks to joint work, 21 Ukrainian museums have already received the opportunity to secure their fund collections, for a total amount of about 5 million hryvnias.
We are incredibly inspired by the support that the museum has received from our colleagues in Ukraine and abroad. Since the beginning of the full-scale war, we have received letters, phone calls, and offers of help from many institutions and our visitors.
From February 24, we managed to receive support for work in war conditions for the total amount of UAH 2,141,942.62. (63419.87 euros).
Also, we do not stop being thankful to the Department of Culture of the Lviv City Council for their reliable management support and support of our activities.
This only confirms that we are in our place and moving in the right direction!
Everything will be Ukraine!