Social Sofa Vyshyvanka
The idea of Ukrainian Social Sofa is Vyshyvanka – a Ukrainian traditional embroidered shirt. Mosaicking process looks similar to embroidery. We cross-stitched with glass mosaics.
Every region of Ukraine has its own unique ornament and technique. Vyshyvanka is used as a talisman to protect the person wearing it and to tell a story. Every element has its own meaning. Most important ornaments were embroidered on the parts of the shirts that contacted the skin: cuffs, collar, etc.
We covered Social Sofa with a map of Ukraine. Each region contains traditional Vyshyvanka ornaments. Map is covering the Sofa like a warm plaid full of love and gratitude.
More than 50 Ukrainians mosaicked Sofa every day for 28 weeks, 4 - 8 hours per day. With every stone we glued love and gratitude.
We are as Ukrainians so grateful to the Netherlands for helping Ukraine, our people, our defenders. With this Sofa we really want to say thank you. We worked very hard to make it perfect. In this Sofa everything: our culture, our resistance, our strength, our love, our pain, our tears, there is even our blood, because we cut our fingers so many times trying to make it as beautiful as possible.
The Gemeente Zaanstad and especially Erik van Druenen gave us this opportunity and made sure that we have everything to be creative. A lot of stones were also donated to us by local residents.
The team of SocialSofa Zaanstad helped and taught us a lot during this time. Truus Vegter, Sarah Angenent and Angelique Bleij-Oudejans were all the time with us helping with everything we needed
Erik van Druenen
"Hi I am Angelique. I found myself really fortunate to be able to work with these ladies. They are hard working, smart and precise women. They invited me into their culture and were eager to know about ours. It was a beautiful project with an amazing result"
Social Sofa Zaanstad
"Architect designer from Kiev
I live in the Netherlands for 1 year with my son in a house that was provided by Ten Brinke owner. I really like the Netherlands, and thank you very much for accepting and helping us in such a difficult time for Ukraine!"
"Hi, I’m Alla, I was born and raised in Chernivtsi, Ukraine. I’ve been living in the Netherlands since 2015. In 2019 I moved to Zaandam. Together with my husband Kirill we are raising our lovely son James.
I’m extremely grateful that I’ve had the chance to work on our gorgeous Vyshyvanka Sofa. I worked on Chernivtsi, Zhytomyr, Zakarpattja and Kherson regions"
"My daughter and I arrived in the Netherlands in March 2022.
At various times I lived in Pavlograd (hometown), Dnipro, Zaporizhzhia and Kamianske (Dnipro region).
I am a chemist-technologist by education, I know manufacturing technologies and laboratory methods for testing various products.
I like music and nature walks"
"I am from Lviv region.
Mosaicking the Sofa Vyshyvanka was like meditation for me. I am glad that I had the opportunity to invest a part of myself in this project❤️"
"I was born in Kiev, but last 8 years I lived in Irpin city.
I came in Netherlands in March 2022 with my cat and yoga mat and started to set up my life here.
Today I'm a yoga teacher and give lessons in three languages, and hope soon will do it in Dutch)
Each my work on the Sofa was a meditation for peace for Ukraine"
" I am a student with a very creative soul. Born in the city of Lviv in Ukraine.
I am very happy that I was given the opportunity to leave my print on a real work of art"
Anastasija Kernitska (left)
"I am Veronica. My family and I live in the Netherlands from 2014. I am from Ukraine, Dnipro city.I am a historian. I love nature. I have two lovely children. I am married. My hobby is meditation"
" Hi! I’m a professional painter and art teacher from Kharkiv city (Ukraine), which was honoured to get a title of a hero-city in 2023. I and my daughter came to the Netherlands in March 2022 because of the war.
NL is a beautiful and hospitable country. I’m happy to have had an opportunity to leave an imprint in the cultural environment of Zaandam."
"Всім Привіт! I’m Beatriz, I am a skateboarder from Portugal but lived most of my life in The Netherlands, I came here when i was 5 years old, i started to learn the Ukrainian language one year ago, in 2022 i fell in love with the country the people and the language they are simply the best! I got inspired by the Ukrainian people! I am active as a demonstration person and also volunteer for the Ukrainian people, I feel deeply honored to have been invited for the Vyshyvanka sofa” project! I love Ukraine and Ukrainians with my heart and soul!"
"Hi, I am Truus Vegter and I coördinate Social Sofa project in Zaanstad. I was very happy when Erik van Druenen was able to generate budget from gemeente Zaanstad to order a sofa which we would mosaïc with Oekraïnians. I couldn't imagine that more then 50 ladies from Oekraïne would participate in this project. I am very gratefull that I could support these ladies in this social project and I am very proud of the result: most beautiful sofa in the Netherlands!"
Social Sofa Zaanstad
"Architect from Dnipro, Ukraine.
24th February 2022 was the scariest day in my life. This project helped me and others to survive this hard year. Sofa became solid foundation for our community. Project really glued us together.
I feel proud of everyone who participated in SocialSofa project. Some of the people followed pattern and my instructions, others brought their own version and participated in designing process"
"I came from the city of Mariupol to the Netherlands in March 2022 with my husband and son. In January 2023 our daughter was born here in the Netherlands. I am a hairdresser by profession. I love doing needlework. I am very glad that I was able to take part in such a project as Sofa-Vyshyvanka"
"Hello, i’m Iuliia, born and raised in Pavlograd, Dnipro region, studied in Dnipro, worked and lived for 5 years in Kyiv. Moved to Netherlands in 2019.
Social Sofa project was a great opportunity for me to release stress and restore emotionally. I’ve worked on Poltava, Ternopil’, Cherkasy regions, and especially Crimea, hope we all will be able to travel there soon"
"Hi there, I’m Anna, data analyst from Kyiv - the best coffee place in the world :)
Now I’m living in NL since war started. In my free time, I love to stargaze and learn ancient history. I value honesty in people.
I’m very proud of sofa end result."
"I was born in Chernihiv region, but last more than 15 year Iived in Kharkiv
In NL I and my family from march 2022 because of war.
I like coffet, young adult fantasy and embroidery.
The Social Sofa for me was a great process of uniting people and creating incredible masterpiece"
"I am Ukrainian, I live and work in Ukraine in the city of Dnipro, Dnipropetrovsk region.
Architect by profession, certified contractor, member of the National Union of Architects of Ukraine"
"Hi, I'm Anna Serebryanskaya 👋🏻I came from the city of Kramatorsk, Donetsk region (eastern Ukraine).
I am a psychologist by education, but found myself in the field of beauty.
I am a permanent makeup artist. In the Netherlands since April 2022, in love with this country 🥰 Happy that I contributed to this incredible beauty "Social Sofa"
"I am Ukrainian and my hometown is Dnipro. I am an architect. I love Ukraine with all my heart. "
"I lived in the Dnipro for many years. I am the manager for purchases, for a long time I dance kizomba. In the Netherlands, I stumbled when the war started, began to live anew. But if not everyone wants to live in another country, then I figured out that it was not mine, so I could turn back through the river home, to Ukraine. I’m happy at once, because I am at home.
The project Social sofa was very important for me, because it gives me a chance to touch to the region with I worked. For a person who had already summed up for a house, it was very nice chance!"
Social Sofa Zaanstad
"I am an architect and designer from Ukraine. I was born in the city of Dnipro, and in March 2022 I came to the Netherlands with my two daughters because of the war.
I remember with great gratitude the time I spent working on the social sofa project, which gave me the opportunity to receive and to give support, to realize creative skills and to create something very meaningful for us all"
"Originally I'm from Donetsk (Eastern of Ukraine) and lived in Kharkiv for the last 10 years.
I have been living in the Netherlands since April 2022.
This Social Sofa not only helped me cope with my emotions all this time, but also introduced me to incredible people!"
"I am Vitalina Clothing designer from Dnipro. Living in Zaandam since 2001 and working at Salvation Army as a counselor and educational assistant for Ukrainian refugees. Ukrainian Sosial Sofa has brought many Ukrainian people together. I.m happy with this"
"My two little daughters and I came to the Netherlands because of the war from Dnipro city. I am a teacher-philologist, but many years I devoted to a work at the tourism field, selling the cruises was my favourite thing to do.
My native city is Zaporizhzhia. Here in NL I found my inspiration in creation of smt new for me, making this Sofa was one of them. For me putting each stone on to our Vyshyvanka-Sofa was like a symbol of supporting, helping and protecting Ukraine"
"I’m a proud Ukrainian born and raised in Vinnytsia, Ukraine. I moved to the Netherlands 4 years ago"
"I’m a tailor and social worker from Amsterdam. Born in the Ukrainian city of Dolina (small town between the Carpathians) Came to the Netherlands in 2001. Since then I have two places in the world that I can call home."
Maryana Mostova (right)
"I was born in a very heart of Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital 🇺🇦. All my life is connected with this loved native city..I am a geographer by my education, and I traveled a lot. Now because of war I am temporarily in this beautiful and hospitable country 🇳🇱 with kind and sincere people. I am happy to leave a nice piece of love and memory about me and Ukraine to them and everyone who is here.. Enjoy our amazing and bright Sofa Vyshyvanka! ❤️"
"My city is Kherson. I arrived in the Netherlands with my son in April 2022. With great gratitude to the Netherlands!"