The names of Ukrainian cities have appeared in all the international media and have become well-recognized over the globe. But do people know what is behind the titles of "Mariupol", "Kharkiv", "Kherson", "Chernihiv", "Bucha" and "Irpin"? After all, the pictures of war-ravaged cities look the same.
The Cities of Freedom project shows Mariupol, Kharkiv, Kherson, Chernihiv, Bucha, and Irpin as they were before the brutal Russian invasion. The documentary footage helps to explore the everyday life of the peaceful cities before the full-scale war, touching upon their history, unique characters, and current situation. The story of each city is told through the personal stories of its citizens.
The Cities of Freedom campaign is a digital project that consists of the following components:
a series of short documentary videos about Mariupol, Kharkiv, Kherson, Chernihiv, Bucha, and Irpin on Ukraine’s Youtube channel
information campaign on Ukraine.ua social media channels
a TOOLKIT with content free to use
public presentations at large-scale international events
partnerships with opinion leaders, experts, bloggers, and diplomats
“If you ask Google about Mariupol or Kharkiv, you will find horrifying images of bombed cities. But the world should know these cities as places full of life, love, culture and beautiful people. Our team dedicates this project to coming City Days of these beautiful places. We believe this project will also help to bring attention to restoration after the victory of Ukraine”, — Sofiya Dzhurynska, project coordinator and co-founder of Brand Ukraine organization.
“We wanted to show real, live cities with their own nature and atmosphere. Therefore, we mainly used content created by real guests of the cities, Ukrainian bloggers, and locals. I am sure this series of films will help viewers look at Ukraine and Ukrainian cities with new eyes, to feel the scale of the tragedy that Russia brought with this barbaric war”, — Kostia Schneider, Chief Creative Director, Publicis Groupe Ukraine.
Cities of Freedom tell the real story about Ukrainian cities, their unique culture, and their identity to the broader international audience. The project's team encourages everyone to join the campaign by sharing posts from Ukraine.ua official channels and using the free-to-use content toolkit to show the unique character of Ukrainian cities.
The BRAND UKRAINE organization implemented the project in close cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.
Author of the idea: Anastasiia Marushevska
Creative partner: Saatchi&Saatchi Ukraine
Production partner: Gvardiya Production House
Visual partner of the project: Depositphotos.
The project is funded by the European Union.