Since the outbreak of the War in Ukraine in February 2022, art and artists have played an essential role in both the conflict and the country’s active recovery. The country has rallied behind protecting Ukrainian art and cultural sites. Artwork has also helped educate the world about the events on the ground and helped the people of Ukraine heal from the trauma of the war with simple initiatives like covering up bullet holes with murals. Creators have also documented the war through art to raise awareness of the conflict to fundraise for governmental and humanitarian efforts.

As bullets continue to fly, innovation has been the key driver that has allowed Ukraine’s art scene to thrive. Exploiting these technologies offers countless opportunities to use digital platforms not just to raise awareness and funds but to influence. Using Blockchain to Preserve Art History In recent years, blockchain has emerged as a powerful tool for preserving and protecting digital
assets. And now, blockchain is preserving the history of Ukrainian art in response to the threat posed by the destruction of cultural sites by the Russian military. Early in the conflict, UNESCO
in April reported that Russia had already damaged over 50 Ukrainian sites of cultural significance noting a need to protect Ukrainian culture both for its historical value and as a
symbol of hope for the future.

(Piece created by Artist Mark Bushuiev based on the March 10, 2022 Tweet from @UkrArmyBlog discussing the defeat of a Russian Military unit in Brovary, Ukraine)

 

In mid-June, Michael Chobanian, the President of the Blockchain Association of Ukraine, announced that Ukraine plans to digitize as many pieces of art as possible. This effort is being spearheaded by Ukraine’s blockchain community and is not a government initiative. Given that Ukraine has already raised close to $150 million via crypto and blockchain to finance its defense
against Russia, this project is a logical diversification of the technology. Using blockchain, the project will create a permanent and tamper-proof record of Ukrainian artworks, making it easier
to track and protect them. This is a potentially game-changing use of blockchain technology, and it could have a huge impact on the preservation of Ukrainian art and culture. The blockchain community is not starting from scratch as in March, a National NFT (or Non-Fungible Tokens) Platform called the Meta History: Museum of War supported by the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine was launched as “Russia uses tanks to destroy Ukraine, we rely on revolutionary blockchain tech…to keep the memory of war. And the place to celebrate the Ukrainian identity and freedom.”  The museum was created to commemorate the history of the current events in Ukraine, preserve the truth, and collect donations for humanitarian aid.
They note that they want to change the role of art in society –”it must be relevant, courageous,
activist.”