Kyiv, August 5, 2015. The cultural and artistic residence, Upon Boh, will start on August 20 in Vinnytsia within the framework of the project, Cultural Diplomacy among Ukraine’s Regions, by Ukraine Crisis Media Center. The initiative’s aim is to discuss the de-communization laws, to help reinvent Ukraine’ historic past and aid the creation of civil attitudes towards joint cultural and artistic legacy. The project title is a reference to the authentic name of the Pivdenny Buh, or Boh, river.
The residence will be located in Rossiya cinema house and maintain a program that includes visual and discussion platforms as well as lectures, discussions, master classes, concerts, screenings and theatrical plays. Everyone will be able to talk to the artists, watch artistic objects in the making as well as follow performances. “The project is a bright example of how we no longer want to patch up the body’s wounds, but want to proactively make the body as a whole healthier. The main challenge that the cultural and artistic residence faces is the prevention of conflict situations that might arise in light of the de-communization laws adopted in Ukraine and if the cultural objects of the communist epoch are destroyed,” noted Leonid Marushchak, curator of Ukraine Crisis Media Center’s artistic initiative and the author of the Upon Boh project.
The dismantling and further fate of communism-era mosaics, painted facades and sculptures are to be debated throughout the course of the discussion program. In addition to visual arts, the events will also focus on literature and cinema, as well as on the country’s humanitarian policy as a whole.
According to Yevhenia Molyar, art manager and curator of the discussion and interactive programs, a wide array of contemporary art tools will be involved in the project. “Documental theatre [will be used], which is an instrument for helping better understand society and for articulating and bringing important social issues to the attention of the general public. Another tool is the use of contemporary architectural practices to visualize the potential reinvention of non-functioning cultural institutions, such as the empty cinema house that will turn into a contemporary public space in which the city’s artistic community will be actively growing for the duration of the 10 days of the project.” According to the curator the experience is worth erecting in all regions of Ukraine.
Alina Yakubenko, artist and curator of the visual program, noted that the artistic team includes Ukrainian and Russian artists, as well as an artist from Berlin. They will be showcasing their artistic process, presenting their works as well as the means to implement and voice their ideas. They will be also working within the city itself, creating artistic objects outside of the residence’s main location.
According to Vinnytsia civic activist Anna Savchynska,“the need for cultural projects is a signal that the city is developing. We are overcoming the barrier of provincialism and are gaining a new perception of reality, as well as to reclaiming the existing space,” added Savchynska. According to the organizers, Vinnytsia was chosen for the project‘s implementation thanks to the city’s successful experience of setting up a dialogue between civil society and authorities on the topic of d-communization. Much better results can be obtained by working and not by using accusatory rhetoric. “Local authorities are our partners, and will delegate representatives to each discussion platform to become informed. We have to show that another way of thinking is possible, imperative methods need not be used, it gives a much better result,” noted Marushchak.