The Great Famine-Genocide in Soviet Ukraine (Holodomor)


By Edward Kozak (EKO), Artist, Illustrator and Satirist
Printed in "Ukraine's Famine-Genocide 1932-1933," a Brochure
By the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA)
Tamara Gallo, Director, National Office in New York
New York, New York, August, 2003


The artwork entitled "HOLODOMOR" was created by artist and satirist Edward Kozak, who used the name EKO. The original artwork by EKO is held in the collection of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA) and was used on the front of a brochure entitled, "Ukraine's Famine-Genocide 1932-1933" published by UCCA in August of 2003.


An article by Oksana Zakydalsky about an exhibition in honor of EKO was printed in The Ukrainian Weekly, Sunday, March 23, 2003.


By Oksana Zakydalsky
The Ukrainian Weekly, Ukrainian National Association (UNA)
Parsippany, New Jersey, Sunday, March 23, 2003, page 10


TORONTO - The Ukrainian Canadian Art Foundation-known by its Ukrainian acronym as the KUMF Gallery-commemorated the centenary of the birth of artist and satirist Edward Kozak (who used the name EKO) by an exhibit of the artist's works and a program about his life and writings.

The opening of the exhibit on February 2 [2003] was attended by Edward Kozak's family from Michigan-son Jarema, daughter Natalka Kozak, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The literary program- titled the Humor and Satire of Edward Kozak-featured a talk about the life and writings of EKO by Professor Maksym Tarnawsky as well as readings from EKO's works by actors Jurij Belsky and Jurij Kelebay.

Self-Portrait by Edward Kozak (EKO)

Edward Kozak combined the talents and extraordinary skills of a painter, caricaturist, illustrator, humorist, editor and publisher, author, essayist and film animator.

Throughout his long life-he died in the USA at the age of 90-he made friends and had colleagues all over North America. Both the exhibit of EKO's works-which ran from Feb. 2 to Feb. 24 and the literary program on February 9 at KUMF-were packed both by people who had known him and by those who, as children, had grown up with his stories and illustrations.

Born in 1902 in the village of Hirne, near Stryi, Western Ukraine, Edward Kozak studied art in Lviv under Oleksa Novakivsky. On completing his studies, he worked as a book and magazine illustrator, authored and illustrated the children's magazine Dzvinochok and, in 1926, became, at first illustrator and then editor of the humor magazine Zyz and then Komar. Publishing and writing works of humor and satire were a lifelong devotion.

When living in various refugee camps in Germany and Austria after the war, EKO revived the humor magazine under the new name Lys and started it up again after arriving in the USA in 1951-it became the famous Lys Mykyta which continued to be published until 1991. In Lys Mykyta, EKO used caricature, humor, satire and irony- commented and often criticized, where this was needed, people and significant events of the national, social, political and religious affairs of Ukrainians.

During the Cold War, his caricatures were particularly sharp when aimed at the Soviet occupiers of Ukraine and somewhat gentler but still hitting their mark as he targeted various diaspora "national liberators" and "defenders of the four freedoms."

After emigration from Germany to the USA, Kozak and his family settled in the Detroit, Michigan area and he renewed his career in painting, drawing, journalism, caricature and publishing. Professionally, he became a film animator and artist on TV programs for children.

Kozak was fascinated with the life and folklore of the Carpathian people, particularly the hutsuls - a fascination developed when he still lived in Ukraine and which continued to permeate his paintings in America. He even found his Carpathians in the Catskills of New York State, spending most summers in the Ukrainian enclave in Hunter.

Edward Kozak's Granddaughter and her Children
Photo by Oksana Zakydalsky
(Click on image to enlarge it)

An exhibit of his works was held in Lviv in 1990 and on his visit during the show, Edward Kozak was made an honorary citizen of the city. A second exhibit in Lviv was held last year, also marking the centenary of EKO's birth.

EKO painted historical subjects such as Kievan boyars, Cossacks, Sichovi Striltsi and the UPA but he is most remembered for his depiction of everyday life in the Ukrainian village and Ukrainian folklore -traditions, beliefs, superstitions, songs, and aphorisms-rich material that was stylistically rendered in the works of EKO with humor and affection.

The Ukrainian Weekly, Ukrainian National Association (UNA)
Parsippany, New Jersey, Sunday, March 23, 2003, page 10
Ukrainian Weekly Archive,

EDITOR: The following information was sent to  Information Service (ARTUIS) by Daria Darewych, professor at York University in Canada on August 20, 2003:

"You may wish to contact Kozak's family regarding any other work on the famine. Kozak's younger son, Yarema, is still alive and lives in Warren, Michigan. ......I know the family. Yarema will be in Toronto this fall as he will be having a solo exhibit at KUMF. If you need any information from KUMF, please let me know as I am their official art consultant.

"There is no monograph on Kozak, but there are numerous articles, mostly in Ukrainian. There is an entry on him in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine. In the early 1930s he was working in Lviv in publishing and was a leading figure in the art and literature group.

"He is best remembered as an amazing cartoonist and humourist and was a long-time editor and author of the humour magazine "Lys Mykyta". Maksym Tarnawsky's father published his memoirs about life in Lviv in the 1930s and later and Maksym as you know specializes in modern Ukrainian literature this is why I suggested Maksym speak about Kozak. He was great!

Kozak also painted. His subject matter was typically Ukrainian and very ethnic, village oriented. A lot of the paintings are really caricatures in colour. He was very popular as an artist within the Ukrainian community."

This historical material has been complied, researched, edited and posted by the  Information Service (ARTUIS). The material can be used but only with full credits to the  Information Service (ARTUIS), Kyiv, Ukraine and Washington, D.C.