Beading the Womantory

History and mythology form an adhesive that make our “whole self” work and a foothold for our dignity and self-respect. A woman’s story, however, rather too often remains invisible for those not in the loop. Martha Bohachevska-Khomiiak’s metaphor, in which she compares a woman’s story to traditional embroidery with white thread on a white background, quite sadly, rings a bell. That is why the projects aiming to add colour to the unknown and invisible emerge – to make those pages visible.  

Beading the Womantory is the project that aims just at that. Mariia Shcherbina – the initiator and author set a goal to reveal and display to the whole world the faces of women scientists, painters, human rights defenders and writers, those, who made a contribution to art, science and literature, having yet remained little-known or of no notice.   


Heroines’ faces will be placed on a canvass in a spiral shaped like an ancient ammonite mollusk with their achievements beaded in-between by hand. Modern women artists will craft in colour to the past, also beading it into modernity. 

All individual elements will be assembled to form a unified canvass and the joint efforts will turn into an exhibit to be passed on to the first and only in Ukraine Museum of Women’s History and History of Women’s and Gender Movement. 20 participants from different countries of the world joined the initiative to make the beaded panel picture a reality. Below is the list of participants with their selected muses:  

Maria Shcherbyna (Kharkiv) – Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid

Patty McCourt (London, UK) – Elizabeth Garrett Anderson

Nadiya Drumashko (Kharkiv) Karen Horney;

The Team of Centre for Gender Education of Lutsk Teachers CollegeLesia Ukrainka, Olena Pchilka and Nypatia of Alexandria

Huib Petersen (USA) is making his decision

Olha Miliutina (Kharkiv) Enheduanna

Veronika Zaviialova (Minsk, Belarus) – Svitlana Aleksiievych

Cath Thomas (Switzerland)Marie Curie

Aleksandra Tildas (Kharkiv)Tilda Swinton

Anna Diekhtiariova (Krasnodar, Russia)Hedy Lamarr

Viktoriia Zaitseva (Kyiv)Duchess Helga

Iryna Ryzhkova-Herasymova (Kharkiv) –Sofia Kovalevskaya

Anna Tsarkova (Kharkiv)Tabitha Babbitt

Yevheniia Bielyaieva (Kharkiv)Astrid Lindgren

Albina Polyanska (Kharkiv)Coco Chanel

Olena Novikova (Kyiv)Ada Lovelace

Saori Abe-Schröder (Dortmund, Germany)Hesther

Olha Vaniukova (Lutsk)Jeanne D’arche and Indira Gandhi

Elina Ivanova (DonetskIrpin) – Kateryna Bilokur

Kseniуa Popova (Kharkiv)Valentyna Tereshkova

Rita PersonVellemans – Mother Theresa

The presentation of the project took place in the Centre for Gender Culture on 23 March 2017 during the Women’s Story Month.

Місяць жіночої історії закінчився…Що далі?

The initiative is open for all those willing to participate.

Here is Project Facebook page: