2018 - Ongoing
Project MARIA was inspired by a single vernacular photograph of a young girl, Maria F., who survived the Holodomor and currently resides in Canada. Holodomor refers to the famine manufactured by Soviet policies during their occupation of Ukraine which, despite an estimated death toll of over four million, remains largely ignored in the context of global genocides. Canada has the world’s third-largest population of people of Ukrainian descent, and thus is home to countless members of the Ukrainian diaspora who continue to mourn this largely unwritten atrocity, and carry a legacy of descendant trauma
The National Holodomor Genocide Museum (Kyiv, Ukraine) hailed Project MARIA as the most famous exhibition on the 1932-33 famine-genocide in Soviet Ukraine. This mobile multimedia installation includes artwork, film, performance, and lectures. Since its conception in 2018, Project MARIA has won multiple international awards and been exhibited in over nine countries, and is currently on a six-city tour of Ukraine which was interrupted by Russia’s invasion.
Maruschak is currently reinterpreting this work to move beyond memorialization to explore what history can tell us about the future in terms of large scale violence, war crimes and genocide and the role of the photograph
With the state of war in Ukraine at the time of this writing, this work is now more relevant than ever.