By Natasha Klimenko. On April 13th, 2022, I spoke to Sasha Kurmaz, an artist from Kyiv who now lives in Ivano-Frankivsk, a city in western Ukraine. When we started the interview, he told me to keep one thing in mind: “If the air raid siren goes off, I’ll have to close everything and go”.
The #artandculture thread of the #DossierUkraine considers the Russian war in Ukraine from the point of view of artists, cultural workers, curators, journalists, and scholars. The thread stems from the art and research collective “Beyond the post-soviet”. In interviews and critical texts, it explores how politics and history are mediated through art, how identity is formed through cultural production, and the importance of heritage in a moment of crisis. The thread looks to the past, to trace shifts in Ukraine, Eastern Europe, and the broader “post-Soviet” space. It also gazes towards the future, to ask what is at stake and which new formations will arise.
Collective members involved in this project: media and politics scholar Migle Bareikyte, art critic and curator Yulia Fisch, artist Borys Medvediev, researcher and editor Natasha Klimenko, cultural studies scholar Olga Osadtschy, and art worker Sasha Pevak. If you’d like to contribute, please contact Natasha.
Interview with Vasyl Cherepanyn by Inga Lāce. I sat with Ukrainian curator Vasyl Cherepanyn on the afternoon of Thursday, February 18 for a conversation via Zoom. The situation in Ukraine was already tense because the Russian army had strengthened its forces on the Ukrainian border and there was constant, alarming media focus on the threat of invasion.
“The Problem is Not in the Illusions, but in the Aims of the Apparatus of Power” – Interview with Gintautas Mažeikis
Interview with Gintautas Mažeikis by Miglė Bareikytė. I remember when professor Gintautas Mažeikis, during the first week of the semester at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, told his students, including me, that we should read Horkheimer and Adorno’s “Dialectic of Enlightenment”. We were young, the book was poorly translated, perplexity set in.
The artist Alevtina Kakhidze lives not far from Kyiv. She was active in the Maidan protests, and her performance for Manifesta 2014, in St. Petersburg, focused on the war in Eastern Ukraine. She speaks about the role of artists in conflicts, what happens to morality during war, and when it is acceptable to be a pacifist.