The event will see major British landmarks such as Trafalgar Square, Canterbury Cathedral, Lambeth Palace and the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, and several other key locations in Paris, New York and Sydney switching their festive lights off for an hour at 8 p.m. local time on Wednesday, the darkest day of 2022.
Organized by the president of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s fundraising platform United24, members of the Ukrainian parliament, fashion and creative platform 1 Granary, and War Against War, an alternative media organization, “An Hour For Ukraine” is part of a $10 million fundraising drive for generators for hospitals across Ukraine this winter.
Olya Kuryshchuk, founder of 1 Granary, who was born in Ukraine and is now based in London after obtaining a bachelor’s degree in fashion design from Central Saint Martins, has urged brands to use their social media platform to encourage their followers to join the initiative and turn off their lights for an hour at home from around the world to show their support for Ukraine.
Participating designers include Charlotte Knowles and Alexandre Arsenault of Knwls, Richard Quinn, Charles Jeffrey, Stefan Cooke, Chopova Lowena, Kiko Kostadinov, Paolina Russo, Masha Popova, Sinéad O’Dwyer, Eftychia Karamolegkou, Lutz Huelle, Ranra, Paula Canovas Del Vas, Jordan Dalah, Duran Lantink, Katie Burnett, Tallulah Harlech, Michael Stewart of Standing Ground, Robyn Lynch, and Goom Heo.
Kuryshchuk said “I am part of the global fashion industry but I am also Ukrainian. Part of my family is still in Kyiv and they don’t have electricity, heating, water, internet, or phone connection along with over 10 million people. The ‘An Hour For Ukraine’ awareness campaign is set up to bring attention to the humanitarian catastrophe in my home country.”
The initiative has received support from Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.
“Earlier this month, in Ukraine, I saw the suffering of Ukrainians who face the violence of the Russian regime, in a dark and cold winter without electricity. Jesus coming into our world shares in our life and our sorrows, and we are called to do the same with our brothers and sisters…That’s why I urge everyone to donate what they can to the United24 initiative, to help raise funds to pay for hospital generators,” Welby said.
Khan said London will also stand in solidarity with Ukraine “on this shortest day and every day,” adding that “2022 will be a year defined by the heroism of the Ukrainian people in defending their homeland against President Putin’s illegal invasion. Whilst we all prepare for Christmas festivities this hour of darkness reminds us all of the hardships and privations being faced by ordinary Ukrainians every day as they live without power, heat and water in freezing temperatures.”