No to the War in Ukraine

NO TO THE WAR IN UKRAINE.

NO TO THE VIOLATION OF INTERNATIONAL LAW.

The International Academy of Ceramics, a non-governmental organisation in official partnership with UNESCO since 1958, calls for peace, respect for cultures and the resolution of conflicts through diplomacy.

The International Academy of Ceramics supports all victims of conflict and intends to help protect its members and fellow ceramists.

As of today, the International Academy of Ceramics:

  • exempts its Ukrainian members from their 2022 membership fees. If these have already been collected, they will be refunded.
  • will use donations to its Membership Solidarity fund (sent from now until April 30) to respond to current emergencies and to rebuild a lasting peace in the aftermath of the conflict.
  • wishes to respond favorably to individual requests from members and colleagues that may be addressed to it:
    • to welcome IAC members that wish to be hosted in a secure area.
    • to allow ceramic artists to work safely in individual studios or partner art residences outside the conflict zone.
    • to allow students to continue their studies in partner schools outside the conflict zone.
    • to allow teachers to teach in partner sites outside the conflict zone.
      (We ask that applicants and hosts announce themselves by e-mail to the IAC office.)
  • the IAC would like to establish an inventory of the country’s ceramic collections currently threatened by bombing, in order to alert international bodies capable of acting to protect them.
Rothko YellowBlue

Marc Rothko (1902-1970), Untitled (Yellow and Blue), 1954

  • has decided to share on a dedicated page on its website the correspondence from members directly affected by the conflict. This correspondence will be anonymized and relayed on social networks through the IAC page

At the same time, the IAC denounces any violent action, and asks our members not to enter a spiral of mutual exclusion. The IAC will not exclude any of its members on the basis of their identity. Xenophobia has NO space within the IAC. The IAC is a space of peace shared by all ceramists and colleagues (authors, curators, students etc.) of the world.

Let us stand together united as never before.

On behalf of the IAC,

Torbjorn Kvasbo, IAC President

 


Letters from IAC Members:

1. From Ukraine:

Subject: I don’t feel comfortable asking for a favour. But I have no other options to act.

Hello, I am an artist from Ukraine, a member of the International Academy of Ceramics. In recent years, it has been difficult for me, like many Ukrainian artists, to take part in international art projects and academy programs, but it still happens. There are many economic problems in Ukraine, but I, like other members of the academy from Ukraine, did not refuse to pay membership fees. I’m sure of it.

At the moment, Ukraine is on the verge of war as a result of Russian aggression. This situation is unique in that it can be resolved through diplomacy without resorting to violence. And this requires consolidation and an active position of the world community. It is difficult for me to convey the feelings that absolutely all Ukrainians are now experiencing, this has never happened before. Fear even in the eyes of children…

I do not want war, and I do what I can. I ask you to make publications in social networks and support Ukraine.

In my motivation letter when I entered the academy, I wrote that for me this is an opportunity to promote Ukraine in the international cultural space. The cultural aspect is a powerful political factor of influence. Please make publications of a few words in support of Ukraine. Now this is very important. It is important to prevent tragedy.

Thank you and all the best.

Best regards,

 

2. From the Russian Federation:

Hello, 

As a member of a peaceful international organization, I want to express my feelings about the tragedy between the Russian and Ukrainian peoples.

Among us there are children and grandchildren of those who fought in World War II, those who witnessed the war first-hand and participated in the war. In each of us lives the genetic memory of the war. We do not want a new war, we do not want people to lose their lives. 

All of my friends are against the war, people are afraid and, believe me, they understand how badly it can end. We don’t know what the world leaders are up to, I wait every hour for a message about negotiating a truce. I’m against any past and present military incursions, and I’m against political hypocrisy. it is time for humanity of the 21st century to understand how fragile our world is. We must say no to war!  Peace🙏

What do we feel? Fear, pain and helplessness, people are depressed. Dear friends, Russians have just begun to get used to normal life, but a new isolation begins. You may laugh, but we are accustomed (it sounds terrible, just think about it!) to live badly, accustomed to endure hardships, and yet, it’s still better than war. 

Since childhood, I remember the phrase that was told to me in case of any failures: it’s okay, as long as there is no war… 

I hope that people of Ukraine can return as soon as possible to normal peaceful life!

3. From the Russian Federation:

“I’M AGAINST WAR!”

Dear friends and colleagues!

The last few days have been the worst in my life. I didn’t write because I just couldn’t find the words. What is happening is terrible and the worst thing, we cannot change anything. Forgive us! I do not believe in God, but it seems that we have nothing else to rely on. I want to write to the Academy that I, as an artist and a person, do not support the aggressive policy of my country. I just want everyone to know this. I know that other Russian members will support me. I can’t answer for everyone, but I’m sure of close friends.

If the Academy decides to cancel our membership, I personally will make this decision humbly, knowing that this will be a forced decision. Although, of course, it will be a huge loss for me.

Peace to all of us!

With deep respect,

 

4. From the Russian Federation:

Dear colleagues! Respected Council of Academy!

The current political situation shocks all of us. Everyone who considers himself sane person must not accept a war. It is always grief, pain and tears. And that is we are feeling right now. Neither I, nor my family want and did not want this war. War is evil. This is bad for all of us.

We have relatives and friends in Kyiv, with whom we continue to communicate. They love us just as much as we love them. All military actions are the games of politicians, but not the war of Russians and Ukrainians! There is no need to throw oil to that bonfire of confrontation fanned by politicians, no need to help them divide people and build walls between us.

I really hope that the politicians have enough sanity to stop this madness. But then, ordinary people, including us artists, will have to restore this world.

I hope that the political situation will not destroy relationship in the art community. We are not politicians, we are artists!

Let’s stop the war! Let there be peace!!!

Sincerely yours,

5. From the Russian Federation:

I am a Russian artist.

In my family for 4 generations there were only artists. They experienced difficult times of revolutions and wars in Russia. And now, I think about them, I imagine how they could survive this incredible pain and shame. I am with all my heart, with all my strength, prayers with my Ukrainian friends. Forgive us! 

I don’t know what to say, only tears… No war!!!!!  

6. From the Russian Federation:

I am deeply worried about what is happening now with our countries! 

This is a big grief! War is the worst thing that can happen to people!!!  

Very scary!!!!!! No War!  

7. From the Russian Federation:

Dear all! In these monstrously difficult days I am in France with my family and I feel it absolutely necessary to express my position.  

I am horrified by what the Russian government is doing, I am terribly worried about Ukraine and all the innocent people who are dying because of the madness of this war. To say that I am ashamed because Russia turned out to be an enemy for the whole world is to say nothing. I know that the majority of my thinking compatriots have become hostages of this madness and share my position.  

Please, make our IAC colleagues aware that the Russian people and the Russian government are not the same thing, and to take any action against the Russian members of the IAC is to kick the ground out from under our feet. We have a common enemy, a common threat, and let’s confront them together as much as we can. Art. Embrace and hope and pray for the restoration of peace.

8. From Ukraine

Dear members and leaders of the IAC, thank you
sincerely for your support and assistance in this difficult time for my country.

I remain in Kyiv and do everything in my power to defeat this global evil.

Your support is extremely important to me and my country.

Thank you very much.

 

Membership solidarity Fund

The development of the Academy and the opening to a truly international network are at the heart of the issues raised by the Council.

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The IAC mission

The International Academy of Ceramics is the principal organisation representing the interests of ceramists worldwide.

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Partner of UNESCO

Since 1958, AIC has been affiliated with UNESCO, first on a consulting basis and then, since 2001, as an official partner in the cultural sector.

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