BA/MA Visual Communication

Zaporozhian Cossack Mythology as Political Agenda


This project focuses on the design of a modern national identity while using the Zaporozhian Cossacks phenomena in Ukraine as a case study. The Cossack brotherhood was a group of East Slavic men who became known as members of a self-governing, militaristic community. Since the collapse of the USSR, the Ukrainian government has been striving to gather her people under one nation and has been looking, as other governments have before, for a symbol. This magical something that makes people believe that they are connected and willingly give their lives in its name. The Cossacks have been chosen to fulfill this mission—to represent the romantic image of the Ukrainian nation seeking independence. The project includes a book that challenges the traditional interpretations of the Cossacks. And a series of Rushnyks—traditional hand-embroidered Slavic cloth. Each Rushnyk is 3m long by 0.5m wide.

Participating Students:

Anisia Affek