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"It's not the end of the world"



For immediate release

Anton Shebetko

"It's not the end of the world”

24 October, to 7 December, 2019
Reception: Thursday, 24 October, 2019, 5 - 8pm

In Western media, Ukraine is usually represented as a country with high rates of homophobia. There is some truth in this. Yes, there are violations in the field of human rights in Ukraine, yes, homophobic sentiments are higher than in countries with developed economies and, yes, crimes motivated by homophobia occur quite often here. Victims do not always go to the police, assuming that they will not receive any help. 

Recently, in Belgium, my head was smashed with a metal bottle because I'm gay; for now I still expect the police to find the attackers. The only piece of mail I have received from Belgium was an invoice from a local hospital. You can say that I was lucky: I survived, the police accepted my application, I got help in the hospital. FInally, I was able to say that I was attacked because I am gay. We all know that there are countries where police can kill you if you dare to say “I'm gay”.

Hate crimes are terrible and require punishment; discrimination is unacceptable, we all know that. And yet, hate crimes happen every minute, throughout the world, in all countries. It's devastating and unfair, but it's not a reason to spend your life in fear. 

"It's not the end of the world" is a series of film photographs, most of which have been taken over the past two years since I moved to the Netherlands. It reflects the aspects that I apply in my other projects:  performative, social and intimate. The difference is that all these pictures were unplanned, they were made only because I had a camera with me. A shot of a broken head taken a minute after the attack is opposed to a large number of shots in which there is a place for life, joy, love, happiness, and… hangover.

Robert Kananaj Gallery presents the second Canadian solo exhibition by Ukrainian artist Anton Shebetko, "It's not the end of the world"

Anton Shebetko is a Ukrainian artist and photographer based in Amsterdam. He works with LGBTQ-related topics. In this exhibition, the artist confronts homophobia directly experienced: While in Belgium, he was attacked violently by a stranger. The artist was hit hard on the head and left bleeding, only because he is gay. The result is presented in Anton Shebetko’s self-portrait, bleeding, confronting, determined, empowered, vulnerable. 

Shebetko’s photography captures in a blink, that, for him, this is not the end of the world.


Robert Kananaj Gallery
172 St Helens Avenue
Toronto ON M6H 4A1
416 289 8855
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