'Unissued Diplomas' honours the stories of 36 Ukrainian students killed in the war

Unissued diplomas exhibition in LUT University in Lappeenranta, Finland
Unissued diplomas exhibition in LUT University in Lappeenranta, Finland Copyright LUT University
By Gael Camba
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The students will never receive their own diplomas, so the exhibition awards them posthumous certificates.

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A Ukrainian exhibition currently touring Europe, aims to tell the stories of 36 Ukrainian students who were killed in the war. 

"Unissued Diplomas" highlights the young people who will now never get their diplomas, and awards them posthumous certificates.  

"We created this exhibition to remind the world about the ongoing war and the price Ukrainians pay daily in their fight for freedom", says the exhibition website. It was created by Ukrainian students and the Ukrainian Canadian Students' Union.

"We united in our goal to commemorate the lost lives of Ukrainian students and remind the world that the full-scale war still goes on", they say.

Lidiia Duminika was studying food science at Mykolaiv State University. She died on 24 March 2022 from injuries she received when she was shelled by a Russian multiple rocket launcher. 

Seventeen-year-old Daniil Shmahlii was studying medicine with hopes of becoming a surgeon. He died on 25 February 2022, the day after the Russian invasion began, after jumping off the Irpin bridge to escape Russian shelling. 

'Unissued Diplomas' honours the memory of Ukrainian students who will never graduate because their lives were taken by the Russian invasion
Unissued Diplomas

Exchange student Khrystyna Osadcha brought the exhibition to Finland, where it's currently being curated and cared for by students and staff at the University of Technology in Lappeenranta. 

Three of the victims were friends and classmates of Osadcha. 

“The war in Ukraine affects the university community deeply. We at Lappeenranta University of Technology also want to show our sympathy and remember students who have died in the war and will never receive their diplomas,” says university Rector Juha-Matti Saksa.

The artwork also aims to support Ukrainian students fighting on the frontline against Russia with a fundraising initiative that would help buy medical supplies and three camera drones. 

So far, they have collected $7,754 (€7029) of their $10,000 (€9,060) goal.

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