We had an idea on how to bring together feminists from different countries for a common discussion, to tell them about the realities of the war in Ukraine and its impact on the feminist movement here. This is how this project was born.

Ukrainian Feminist Kitchen is a series of online events where we held discussions on essential feminist topics, explored significant socio-political events worldwide, and examined the feminist context during the Russian-Ukrainian war. We combined all this with stories about Ukrainian culture and traditions, creating cozy, emotional, and unifying kitchen conversations.

We invited speakers who addressed the chosen issues from the perspective of their unique experiences. Throughout the project, we had the opportunity to collaborate with two wonderful moderators who brought their own charisma to each event and managed to unite all of us — organizers, attendees, and speakers. A special thanks to Milena Abrahamyan and Marija Jakovljević!

During the first three meetings, we invited our participants to take part in culinary masterclasses where our chef Katya Dovbnya shared and helped prepare traditional Ukrainian dishes. In subsequent episodes, we shifted from culinary activities to drawing and stories about Ukrainian traditions with artist Viktoriia Cherniakhivska. These sessions introduced foreign participants to Ukrainian culture, intertwined with discussions on important feminist issues.

Ukrainian Feminist Kitchen became a space for the comfortable exchange of knowledge and ideas between activists with academic backgrounds and those working in the field, between those living in Ukraine and those in various parts of Europe, America, and the world. We met so many like-minded individuals, heard diverse experiences, and gained new perspectives on crucial issues. We are immensely grateful to everyone for their contribution to the development of this project! We hope to see you again at our Ukrainian Feminist Kitchen.

Ukrainian Feminist Kitchen #1: What role do feminists play in times of crisis?

WHEN: 13 May 2023

The first online event of the Ukrainian Feminist Kitchen series took place on May 13, 2023. Our guest speakers were Kira Leonova from Ukraine — an activist from “Feminist Workshop,” a translator, and an artist — and Agnieszka Róż from Poland, a queer-feminist director, facilitator, and coordinator of intimate scenes in theater productions. 

Together we were discussing the role of feminists in times of crisis and how their work changes during such periods. Participants from Ukraine, Italy, and the USA also shared their reflections. The event was moderated by Milena Abrahamyan.

Our chief cook, Katya Dovbnya, demonstrated how to make the traditional Ukrainian dish “Hrechanyky” (buckwheat balls), which can be prepared with meat or potato ( vegan version). You can find the recipe in the video and cook along while watching.

Ukrainian Feminist Kitchen #2: How can feminism be a global binding movement between the East and West, Global South and Global North?

WHEN: 11 July 2023

The discussion on this intense topic we held in a warm and cheerful atmosphere thanks to our guest-speakers: Giulia De Ponte, Art Historian and Visual Culture Scholar from the Orlando Feminist Association (Bologna, Italy), and Viktoriia Pihul, a Ukrainian feminist and activist from “Sotsialnyi Rukh/Social Movement.” This online event was moderated by Milena Abrahamyan, queer feminist and activist from Armenia.

This time, we cooked delicious dumplings with cherries under the guidance of our chief cook, Kateryna Dovbnya. Missed the event? No worries! You can still join in the fun — find the recipe and watch the video to cook along with us!

Ukrainian Feminist Kitchen #3: Is a joint feminist movement possible among those with a strong power imbalance? How to cooperate with the strong and the weak sides?

WHEN: 10 August 2023

To examine the issues of the joint feminist movement we invited the proficient speakers to lead the discussion: Luma Nichol, a socialist feminist activist with Radical Women (the U.S.), Dafna Rachok, anthropologist and activist (Ukraine) and Olga Papash, Solidarity Collectives activist (Kyiv, Ukraine). The event was moderated by Milena Abrahamyan, a queer activist and feminist from Armenia.

While having a discussion on the topic, we had an opportunity to cook a vegan version of a wonderful ukrainian traditional dish — holubtsi — along with our talented chef-host Katya Dovbnya. So we invite you to delve into the topic and find this vegan recipe in the video of the episode!

WHEN: 30 October 2023

This time we set up a tough questions for the discussion: What can we do to move out of a state of constant war? How does the fight against imperialism relate to new forms of nationalism? And what does decolonization mean in such cases? In this episode we considered the issue of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the influence of imperialism on feminist movements and beyond.

To lead the discussion we invited speakers: sound artist and feminist activist Anna Khvyl from Ukraine, and Sevinj Samadzade, feminist researcher and activist within the gender, peace, and security focusing on the South Caucasus region. 

Milena Abrahamyan, a queer activist and feminist from Armenia, moderated the event.

At this event, we introduced a new format of the activity by inviting all guests to draw a unique pattern of Ukrainian traditional embroidery under the guidance of an artist and folk crafts master — Viktoriia Cherniakhivska.

Ukrainian Feminist Kitchen #5: Feminist Voices of Ukraine and Karabakh: Exploring Shared Struggles and Building International Solidarity

WHEN: 15 January 2024

Although the war in Ukraine and the Karabakh conflict are different contexts, we are looking to build international solidarity for the people suffering as a result of these conflicts by trying to understand what is really happening and what people directly involved in these conflicts feel.

Our guest speakers, who are representatives of both of these regions: Liza Matevosyan, co-founder of «Women’s center. Shushi» NGo, human rights activist from Nagorno-Karabakh, displaced from Shushi(NK) and Knarik Mkrtchyan, Women’s Agenda NGO Co-founder, peace advocate, and Women, Peace and Security Agenda expert.

Speakers from Ukraine: «Variable name / Назва змінна» is an artistic group of Ukrainian artists and curators Maryna Marinichenko and Valerie Karpan. They work together mostly in participative art and cultural education since the first collaboration in the project «Exhibit it!» (Gallery «Labirynt», Lublin, Poland, 2018). This event was moderated by Milena Abrahamyan, queer feminist and activist from Armenia.

During the discussion we all joined the creative activity of drawing a Christmas star, the traditional attribute of Colyada (singing carols performance) with an artist, Viktoriia Cherniakhivska.

Ukrainian Feminist Kitchen #6: Elections in Europe in time of war

This time the discussion was dedicated to exploring the intricacies of elections in Ukraine amidst the backdrop of war, with a particular focus on the role of feminists. Against the complex geopolitical landscape of Eastern Europe, this discussion offered a regional perspective, drawing parallels with neighboring countries such as Poland.

Our speakers were: Magda Fabianczyk (Poland/UK),co-founder of POMOC, a grassroots political home for Eastern Europeans living in the UK, and Iryna Tyshko (Ukraine), Gender expert, Head of NGO Public Alliance Political Action of Women. They exchanged their opinions on European politics and the role of women and queer people in elections. The event was moderated by Marija Jakovljević, feminist activist, member of the Torchlight collective and Multitudes Foundation Connector for Serbia.

While listening to the conversation we enjoyed drawing birds under the guidance of Viktoriia Cherniakhivska, as a symbol of welcoming spring and positive changes in the world.

Ukrainian Feminist Kitchen#7: Labour rights in the contexts of Ukraine and the UK 

WHEN: 27 March 2024 

The discussion was focusing on fostering solidarity concerning labour rights within the contexts of Ukraine and the United Kingdom. The conversation delved into the significance of advocating for fair treatment and empowerment of workers amidst the challenges posed by the ongoing war in Ukraine. 

Our guest speakers were Vicky Blake, an activist in the University and College Union at Leeds University, UCU branch’s Honorary Secretary, and member of the committee of the Abortion Rights campaign (UK); Julie Ward, an activist and member of the national USC committee, and former Labour Party Member of the European Parliament (UK); and Oksana Dutchak, a researcher, Marxist feminist, and co-editor of the online journal Spilne/Commons (Ukraine).

Moderated the discussion Marija Jakovljević, a feminist activist from Serbia and SCI alumna exploring the intersection of peacebuilding and solidarity economy.

During the discussion, participants engaged in a creative activity, drawing willow seals as symbols of spring. Afterwards Viktoriia Cherniakhivska, our guiding artist, turned the drawings made by our participants into inspiring collage.

We are grateful to our speakers, visitors and everyone involved for the wonderful atmosphere, personal insights and energy that fills and inspires!

Ukrainian Feminist Kitchen#8: How do we build our solidarity – thoughts from Ukraine and Italy

WHEN: 18 April 2024

On April 18th, the 8th and final event of the Ukrainian Feminist Kitchen took place. The topic of discussion at this meeting was “How do we build our solidarity – thoughts from Ukraine and Italy.” We invited Italian activists to participate: Laura Schiavone, Activist from Làbas (Bologna, Italy), Antonella Amadei, activist of Municipio Sociale Làbas (Italy). And our guest speakers from Ukraine: Yosh, feminist activist, ex-head of Feminist Workshop (Ukraine), Alla Solod, coordinator in Feminist Workshop (Ukraine).
Marija Jakovljević, activist advisor and consultant supporting care work of feminist collectives and women’s funds, moderated the event.

Activists were exchanging their thoughts from everyday activism in their collectives. Emphasizing collective (un)learning, solidarity, and mutual support, and addressing systemic inequalities and patterns we unintentionally reproduce, these discussion highlight the importance of fostering healing amidst adversity, abandoning the mindset of scarcity and competition, and co-creating self-reflexive and caring spaces and solidarity-based mechanisms at all levels of our societies.

Besides the discussion, we’ve had a great time drawing together Ukrainian attributes of Easter – basket, colored eggs and Easter cake. We’ve created wonderful drawings under guidance of the poet and artist Viktoriia Chernyakhivska. And are waiting to see her final art-collage with these works!