Hantverk som räddar liv

On February, 24, Russia invaded Ukraine bringing people around the world together in a powerful force supporting and helping the Ukrainian people. In March 2022, Ludmila Christeseva initiated a series of textile workshops for making camouflage nets for the Ukrainian Armed Forces – Hantverk som räddar liv / Crafts that save lives. Christeseva welcomed newly arrived Ukrainian mothers and children. The first workshop Hantverk som räddar liv / Crafts that save lives took place on March, 20 and ran every Saturday. We produced 10 camouflage nets by hand and sent them to Ukraine. Hantverk som räddar liv / Crafts that save lives united hundreds of people from different parts of the City of Stockholm in a powerful movement based on creativity and sustainability for peace and freedom in Ukraine and in the rest of the world.  

During workshops, we have had the possibility to support many families from Ukraine. Our work focuses on integration through crafts and arts. The interaction between Swedish and Ukrainian families and children who fled death and horror in Ukraine, and found a new home in Sweden, is enabled through joint weaving, painting, and cooking workshops as well as sharing Swedish Fika. The approach facilitates language learning and cultural exchange.

Summer 2022, Ludmila Christeseva decided to broaden her curatorial initiative and utilize the uniting power of crafts to amplify female voices and stories in a powerful chorus for peace and freedom. On 5th of July, 2022, she launched the very first presentation of Crafts that Unite, heal, and last for the public at Mäster Olofsgården and included children’s works created for peace and freedom Restart of Ukraine!

Ludmila Christeseva has sole ownership for Crafts that Unite, heal, and last. For press inquiry, artworks purchase or collaboration, please contact the author.

Photograph: Sebastian von Wachenfeldt

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Ann Linde wove a band into one of the camouflage nets together with the artist Ludmila Christeseva.

Helene Ranlund from Armemuseum, The Minister of Foreign Affairs Ann Linde and L.Christeseva
The Belarusian artist and curator Ludmila Christeseva has invited the former Minister of Foreign Affairs Ann Linde to participate in the camouflage net workshop at the Swedish Museum of Army.

The camouflage pattern is omnipresent in our lives from hunting wildlife to fashion trends. During the war, camouflage nets are used to protect people and equipment from the enemy’s eye. The origin of camouflage can be traced back to antiquity and myths list different techniques of making it. The well-known legend of the Trojan Horse for instance also mentions camouflage. Camouflage nets we use today, are dated at over a hundred years ago during the First World War.

The war in Ukraine created a demand for camouflage nets and many Ukrainian women began to craft them by hand from new textiles and recycled clothes. Camouflage weaving has become a part of Ukrainian culture in recent years and it will certainly remain after the end of the war, as an independent form of textile craft narrating about hope, justice, and optimism. One of our young participants Masha Babii from Kiev has been braiding camouflage nets since 2016. Today she is 18 years old. The Belarusian artist and curator Ludmila Christeseva actively supports Masha and many other Ukrainian children.

What is Masha’s and her friends’ in Ukraine future? How can we change it?


Every Saturday:
since 24.02.2022

The workshops are free of charge and for everyone. During the workshops, we share a Swedish Fika, discuss creative ideas, and support each other. Without knowing each other language, our friendship and mutual understanding got anchored in the language of crafts. It is a beautiful journey we are making together towards peace and justice.

The project is supported by

Kungsträdgården, 30/04 2022

When cherry blossoms in one part of the world, colours may fade in another.