Ukraine: Remember Also Me – Testimonies from the War

Monday 17th June | 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm

LIVE Lit & Phil Event | £3

George Butler image – Copy

Copyright © George Butler, Ukraine: Remember Also Me, Published by Walker Studio

Monday 17th June | 6pm

George Butler reportage artist

While reporting on the war in Ukraine in 2022 and 2023, the artist George Butler created striking illustrations and reporting to introduce us to the people behind the headlines. His drawings, made in situ, of people and places in Ukraine, in underground shelters in the Kharkiv metro, hospitals and bombed out streets and homes, vividly capture stories of family, tragedy and perseverance.
“George Butler is in the front rank of chroniclers of our troubled times. His work shows the power of paper and ink in the digital age.” Jeremy Bowen, BBC correspondent

George Butler will be signing his new book Ukraine: Remember Also Me after the talk

A LIVE Lit & Phil Event | £3

(If you would prefer to book directly over the phone, please call the Library Desk team on 0191 232 0192 and they will be happy to help.)

George Butler is an award-winning illustrator but has reinvented the role of the Artist Reporter drawing conflict zones, climate issues, humanitarian crisis and social issues for the news. His drawings are done in situ – in pen, ink and watercolour.

In August 2012 George walked from Turkey across the border into Syria, where as a guest of the rebel Free Syrian Army, he drew the Civil War-damaged, small and empty town of Azaz.

A decade later he spent several days in the Metro in Kharkiv, Ukraine recording the lives of those that lived underground to avoid the Russian bombardment. These drawings can be seen in the National Archive at V&A Museum. (London).

Over the last 15 years George has been commissioned to offer a deliberately slow alternative to the headlines. He attaches his drawings to the personal testimonies of those that he meets and records their resolve and resilience alongside the vulnerability of their situations. This has included in a Leprosy Clinic in Nepal, a militia in Yemen, the Mass Graves in Bucha, a caesarean-section in Afghanistan, the artisanal oil fields of Myanmar and most recently for the Guardian documenting the aftermath of the Earthquake in Turkey and Syria. (22/2/23)

“In Ukraine I learnt that the stories of those I was trying to draw, were in fact, far more significant than my attempts at figurative likeness on the page. The drawings became an introduction to something and someone more meaningful that we would have otherwise never known”.

His drawings have been published by The Times (London), Monocle, New York Times, the Guardian, SZ Magazin, VQR, BBC, CNN, Der Spiegel, ARD television (Germany) and NPR. His work has been shown in the Imperial War Museum North, Lambeth Palace and is in collection at the V&A Museum and the National Army Museum.

In 2014, with three friends, George set up the Hands Up Foundation. The aim was to remind the people they had met in Syria that they had not been forgotten. The Hands Up Foundation supports salaries of professionals inside Syria and has to date raised £7.8 million.

‘The humanity of this artist shines out from every stroke of his brush.’

Mishal Husain, journalist

“The simplicity and power of his pictures pierces all our defences.”

Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

“George’s work gets to the essence of war and the experiences of the human beings caught up in it.”

Jeremy Bowen