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“Flight from Ukraine,” a talk with Ben Betsalel

March 24 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

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For the past two years, artist and UNC Asheville alum Ben Betsalel has been living with his family in Kyiv, Ukraine. Due to the conflict, he was forced to flee with his two young children while his wife continues to work in Ukraine on the humanitarian crisis as acting head of operations with the International Committee of the Red Cross. Before leaving, Betsalel had been preparing for an exhibition of his work at the Shevchenko Museum.

On Thursday, March 24 in the Blue Ridge Room South in Highsmith Student Union, Ben will give a talk, “Flight from Ukraine.” He will speak on his work and experiences in Ukraine, as well as the “Human Rights” art projects he has carried out in prisons and refugee camps in Sri Lanka, Colombia, Ethiopia, and Senegal – and until about two weeks ago, in Ukraine. His talk will powerfully combine the political and the personal.

Ben Betsalel’s talk may also be viewed via Zoom

More about Ben Betsalel
During the past fifteen years, Asheville artist Ben Betsalel has been living and working abroad — drawing, painting, and writing to provoke connection and deepen understanding. His work is rooted in experience, vulnerability and the intersection of art and humanitarian action.

His large-scale portrait projects explore the state of humanity through situational portrait happenings, themed exhibitions, and narratives about the people he portrays. He also works with abstraction, experimenting with internal landscape and processes influenced by the natural world (“The Weather or Not”).

Betsalel has explored the life and poetry of German Jewish poet Nelly Sachs, and has produced themed series of portrait happenings inside Colombian prisons in South America, with internally displaced people in Chad and the Central African Republic, and on rooftops in Gambia as the country transitions back to democracy from a 22-year dictatorship.


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Visitor Parking

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March 24
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm


Belk Distinguished Professor of Humanities


Highsmith Student Union, Blue Ridge Room South (203)