The Invisible Battalion UK tour events will feature a Film Screening & Q&A Session with three Ukrainian servicewomen – a film producer & two film protagonists – who will answer your questions after the screening.
7th November – Frontline Club, London @ 7 pm
8th November – King’s College, London @ 6 pm
9th November – Ukrainian Film Festival at Cambridge @ 6:30 pm
10th November – Ukrainian Cultural Centre, London @ 6 pm
13th November – National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff @ 9 am
14thNovember – Doc’n Roll Film Festival, London @ 18:30
15th November – Balliol College, Oxford @ 7:30 pm
The Invisible Battalion UK tour is supported by the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (London branch) and the Embassy of Ukraine to the United Kingdom.
We are grateful to Olesya Khromeychuk from King’s College London, Olenka Pevny and Bohdan Tokarskyi from Cambridge Ukrainian Studies, and Emma Mateo from the Ukrainian Society at the University of Oxford for their invaluable help with organising the UK tour.
INVISIBLE BATTALION is the first full-length Ukrainian documentary about women at war produced and filmed by women.
Three film directors – Iryna Tsilyk, Svitlana Lischynska and Alina Horlova – give a voice to ten thousand women in the combatant units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine by following the journey of six women fighting in the on-going war in Donbas in eastern Ukraine currently occupied by the Russian regular army.
The film’s protagonists have different upbringing, life experience, and professions, but all of them are united by the war.
In early 2016 year, the Invisible Battalion project started as the sociological research aiming to raise awareness about the women’s role in Ukraine’s army and volunteer battalions. As a result, a number of problems has been revealed: according to the Ukrainian legislation, women were not allowed to take many combat positions in the army and, therefore, they were enlisted as cooks, seamstresses, cleaners, and accountants while taking part in military combat operations as snipers, grenade launcher operators, reconnaissance soldiers, and artillerists. This was happening on semi-legal grounds, and the majority of women who were fighting at the Donbas frontline were not enlisted officially.
Consequently, women were not only underpaid or not paid, they not only had no access to social care, military benefits and awards or career opportunities in the Armed Forces, but also their role in the war was invisible to society and hugely undermined.
A powerful advocacy campaign for gender equality in the Armed Forces of Ukraine was initiated and, thus, the film highlighting Ukraine-specific issues which are universally relevant, was created.
Q&A sessionAfter the screening, the film producer, MARIA BERLINSKA will be presenting her insight into the issue of recognition of women’s role in the military. Maria is a founder of the Ukrainian Centre for Aerial Reconnaissance in Kyiv and has been volunteering for the Ukrainian Army since the start of the conflict (both by flying drones at the frontline and training others to operate drones in Kyiv). In addition, Maria set up an Institute for Gender Programmes and initiated a sociological study about women who serve in the on-going war
The audience will also have a rare opportunity to meet ANDRIANA SUSAK and DARIA ZUBENKO, two of the protagonists featured in the film, who will share their experience of being at the frontline.
Runtime: 1 hr 29 mins
Language: Ukrainian & Russian
We look forward to seeing you at one of the screenings!