Start of art project “MEZHA”

Within the framework of the interregional art project “MEZHA”, Uzhhorod and Sloviansk will exchange residences. “The idea of the project is to study people in different regions … Through art, we want to answer the question ‘What is a border (mezha)?’,’How can we overcome this border?’ Together, we will be able to give our answers,” said Zhenya Kuleba, project director, at a briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

The art project was initiated by the NGO “City-garden” with the financial support of the International Renaissance Foundation. “Creative projects are so interesting because the result is not programmed in advance,” stressed Stanislav Lyachynskyi, director of Program initiative “Civil Initiatives of new Ukraine”, International Renaissance Foundation.

The organizers received 22 applications and selected eight participants. A residence is a special format. “This is an intense work of an artist who goes to another city … He is ready to work and nobody interrupts him. A residence is not tourism for an artist,” noted Alevtyna Kakhidze, curator of residences in Sloviansk and Uzhhorod.

Alevtyna Kakhidze will not only help the participants but also will implement her project – “Battle of the Gardeners”, during which the winners from Uzhhorod and Sloviansk will be decided on. “Both in the East and in the West a conversation will take place if you ask a senior person about a garden… Although it seems that a garden is such a thing where there is no policy, I am convinced that there is a policy there,” emphasized Mrs. Kakhidze. The winners from Uzhhorod and Sloviansk will meet in Kyiv and exchange their experience.

The participants will have the opportunity to watch the festival film “Ridni” (Close Relations), a documentary by Vitalii Manskyi. The film depicts the personal history of the film director, whose family lives in Lviv, Odesa, Sevastopol and in the East. “The film emphasizes that relations should be resumed against all the odds,” said Anna Palenchuk, director of production company 435 FILMS, producer of the film “Ridni.”

The first residence will be held July 5-9 in Sloviansk, the second one – July 11 – 15 in Uzhhorod. The organizers hope that a presentation of the work done will be held in September.