Earlier this year, the Meta History project was launched to document major events in Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, while raising funds for Ukraine’s defense and humanitarian efforts. This, it’s been doing by dropping NFT collections that feature the works of locally based artists chronicling the war in sequence, with each token going for 0.15ETH. Since its first drop, the platform has raised more than $1.2 million for the Charity Foundation of Serhiy Prytula and Aid For Ukraine, the crypto fund established by the country’s Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, KUNA, and Everstake.
Five months into the war, Meta History’s mandate is still as pressing as ever. Aid remains essential, but at stake, too, is Ukraine’s cultural heritage. Russia’s relentless and coordinated assault has hurt and devastated human lives, while damaging more than 260 heritage sites not limited to museums, monuments, historic buildings, and libraries — from the Donetsk Regional Drama Theater in Mariupol to the Chernihiv Regional History Museum.
In the wake of this destruction, Meta History is not sitting still. With its latest collection of NFT art, the project plans to rouse donations for the restoration of Ukraine’s cultural institutions.
On July 21, Meta History unveiled its third collection, which recounts events from March 15 to 31, 2022. Again, a host of Ukrainian artists have created artworks — whether using oils, generative algorithms, 3D motion — that are accompanied by a verified tweet highlighting the event at hand. Documented here are the sanctioning of Russian oligarchs, the harrowing birth of a baby amid bombardment, the retaking of Irpin, and the rescue of 130 people from the Donetsk Regional Drama Theater.
Additionally, from July 28, this latest drop of 30 works will be virtually exhibited in Party Space, a Meta History partner. All proceeds from this auction will go toward Aid for Ukraine.
These Warline NFTs also join Meta History’s other collection, Avatars For Ukraine. Launched in May, the charity collection features figurative representations of “the spirit of Ukraine in its fight for existence,” created by a number of video game designers. These artworks, including those from an upcoming volume 2, are being sold to help Ukraine rebuild its cultural sites and institutions.
Why it matters
That Ukrainians have cleverly deployed NFTs and the blockchain to fundraise for their war efforts is as evident as it has been effective. According to a June report, some $135 million has been raised by various crypto funds, including Aid For Ukraine and UkraineDAO. Meta History has no doubt been vital to the cause, in turn energizing its continued drops and developments. Founder VK is promising expanded platform capabilities to invite more people to buy, including possible free mints, in addition to metaversal events offering peeks behind the scenes.
And as we’ve previously surfaced, the Meta History’s billing as a “Museum of War” fulfills an urgent record-keeping role at a time when Ukraine’s cultural heritage is under attack. “During the six months of the war in Ukraine, Russians have destroyed hundreds of our museums, theaters, and cultural centers,” said Oleksandr Tkachenko, Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine. “Ukrainian culture and national heritage have been damaged by almost €6 billion, and as to the actions and intentions of the Russian federation, this amount will only be increased.”
Initiatives such as Backup Ukraine and Saving Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Online have emerged to virtually preserve the nation’s cultural objects, thus safeguarding its heritage. In committing the war’s events to NFTs to fundraise for restoration efforts, Meta History is likewise ensuring Ukraine’s contemporary history and cultural heritage endure both on-chain and on the ground.
What they said
“The idea of immortalizing the history of events in works of art and offering them to those who want to support Ukraine proved viable from day one. The drop in March brought in over $600,000 in 24 hours ⎯ 1,282 of 2,178 NFTs were sold. I think Meta History can make a significant contribution to supporting Ukraine by highlighting the truth through NFT art and selling it until the war is over.” — Brittany Kaiser, Meta History ambassador, Founder of #OwnYourData, blockchain activist