Never Again Gallery: Ukrainian artists reinterpreted posters from the Second World War
Every generation pats itself on the back, secure in knowing that it is way too savvy to be manipulated by propaganda, even smirking at the simplicity of those who fell for it the last time. Artists may have a better picture of that reality. Or not.
The “Never Again Gallery” project is an online effort by Ukrainian artists that examines the similarities between the visual campaigns that persuaded people about WWII events and the messaging we see daily today regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Perhaps likening the NATO states to the World War II Allies, the project returns to the “hundreds of emotional posters” in cities across Europe and the US advocating for support. With new interpretations of eerily similar sentiments, visitors are encouraged to download PDFs of new posters, which, like the old ones, offer “calls-to-action, instructions, and motivation.”
The project’s messages get muddled; such is the fog of war, you may say. The similarities to the past – and these reinterpretations of compelling images and slogans – may cause viewers to question the motivations of those at war now or those who encourage it. But no one doubts how powerful these artworks can be.
This generation of artists and creatives use Facebook ads, Instagram graphics, and TikTok videos as much as earlier illustrators used posters and print ads to get the point across. One wonders if time passing always assures that artists who lend their creative talents feel pride for having helped their side, or if sometimes there is regret as well, or instead.
Projects like this one from the “Never Again Gallery” remind us that when it comes to propaganda and war, “Never Again” lasts only approximately as long as our memories do.
20 Ukrainian artists attributed to the project:
Tetiana Yakunova, Oleksandra Kovaliova, Anton Logov, Anna Sarvira, Maria OZ, Varvara Perekrest, WAONE Interesni Kazki, Oleksandr Grekhov, Anton Abo, Alina Kropachova, WE BAD, Masha Foya, PLVNV, Mari Kinovich, Alina Zamanova, Bravebirdie, Sestry Feldman, Yulia Vus, Alex Derega, and Marie Hermasheva.
Click HERE to see the whole collection of images and posters, including the original and current versions, and to download and print the posters free of charge.
Click HERE to see the whole collection, including the original and current versions, and to download and print the posters free of charge.