Yuliia Elyas

artist and activist
Yuliia Elyas is an artist and activist, currently based in Utrecht. She holds a master’s degree in fine arts from HKU University of the Arts Utrecht, Utrecht. She is the founder of the Help Ukraine Utrecht initiative—a project aimed at providing humanitarian aid and support to Ukrainians affected by the War—started at HKU Loods, Utrecht amidst the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Elyas’s work trajectory spans diverse media and collaborative efforts, shaping a practice rooted in critical engagement and transformative cultural diplomacy. Her work is deeply informed by exploring unconventional geographies and temporalities within the realm of ideas. 
Elyas’s research proposal for the BAK Fellowship for Situated Practice focuses on a decolonial reimagining of the narrative surrounding Ukraine and its representation in museum archives in the Netherlands. Collaborating with fellow practitioners in both Ukraine and the Netherlands, she aims to develop language and frameworks to create space for thinkers from Ukraine to narrate their own stories. This project seeks to align itself with various forms of solidarity and resistance. 

Selected exhibitions include: Art Rotterdam, Rotterdam, 2023; “Essential Labour for Survival,” panel discussion, Scaffolding Scaffolding, BAK, Utrecht, 2022; Ukraine Fundraiser, The Grey Space in the Middle, The Hague, 2022; ReContext Histories, Mystetskyi Arsenal, Kyiv, Ukraine, 2020; and Rietveld Uncut, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 2019. 

Elyas lives and works in Utrecht, and she is part of the BAK Cell, Utrecht, in the Fellowship for Situated Practice.