::: V O I C E S ::: UKRAINE

::: VOICES ::: UKRAINE wurde ursprünglich vor der militärischen Invasion Russlands in der Ukraine geplant. Die Idee dahinter war, ein Archiv mit den Geschichten ukrainischer Künstler:innen und Kulturschaffender zu initiieren, die mit der ständigen Angst vor einem Angriffskrieg auf ihr Land lebten… /// The edition of ::: VOICES ::: UKRAINE was initially planned before the full military invasion of Russia in Ukraine. The idea behind it was to create an archive of the stories of Ukrainian artists and cultural workers who were living with the constant fear of an attack on their country… >> Continue here

We stand in #SolidarityWithUkraine!

Andriy Boyko
Photographies 2014-2021

After the Revolution of Dignity, Ukraine experienced a boom in rave culture. Empowered by the energy of change and shocked by the war in the East of Ukraine in 2014, the youth was searching for their own identity and new ways of expressing themselves. Kyiv became the European capital of techno parties, attracting musicians and ravers from Berlin, Amsterdam, and other cities. The outbreak of freshly emerged creativity went far beyond these gatherings.  New names and personalities were appearing in fashion, design, photography, film, and other fields. Young people were inventing a new visual language, pushing the boundaries of what was generally accepted, and in doing so, subconsciously and instinctively created an important layer of culture based on freedom and equality.

2018, Workshops on Andriushchenko Street, Kyiv, on the photo one can see Artur Snitkus (currently fighting in the Ukrainian Armed Forces, call sign “Snickers”)

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“Strength and Fragility”

More than half a year after the full-scale Russian invasion, music and art made no sense to me. I could not create anymore. Denys Torchylevskyi and I remained in Kyiv and were actively engaged in volunteering and supplying all necessary stuff from abroad to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The very desire to write music took on a sense of guilt. After six months, the first attempts to return to the composition sounded like horror, anger and hatred in the roar of synthesizers – disgusting and scary. I abandoned those attempts. It felt like I would never be able to write music again. Periodically, Denys was documenting the surrounding reality with the phone camera and handycam  for personal usage, and thus archived some interesting material. Finally, after almost a year, in order to heal psychologically and support myself, I decided to return to music creation. These are the first tracks written since the beginning of the full-scale war. 

Composition „Fragility“ which accompanies the video work „Lukashivka“ is about the true understanding of fragility of life that comes with war, with the fall of the first enemy missile near our house, when all material objects become unimportant at once. The lives of Ukrainians are still being broken as simply as glass every day…

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Once it became clear that the war was going to last, and once more and more evidence of Russian atrocities appeared, I couldn’t stop thinking that it’s also our bones and blood that are in the ground, the bodies that may never be found or recognized…

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„My Favorite Job“ 2022 (32 min.)

In the spring of 2022, the Ukrainian city of Mariupol was surrounded by Russian troops. They were using the weapons of mass destruction against the civilian population every day. In mid-March volunteers started evacuating people from Mariupol to Zaporizhzhia. They gathered after each trip to exchange the information, support each other, and talk about their traumatic experiences [please also use YouTube’s subtitle function]:

For more information about Sashko click >>here<<

„Make Like a Tree“

„Make Like a Tree“ is a representation of travels expressed in music and photography created by Sergey Onischenko, a wanderer from Ukraine who has wandering around the world spreading his indie-folk tunes with a touch of non-conformism and Beat Generation ideas whilst exhibiting his minimalistic landscape photography along the way. Experiments with sounds and collaborations with the audience can turn this one-man-band into a duo or into quite a large improvising ensemble. The soundscapes of „Make Like a Tree“ will bring you to an inner world of nature, woods, mountains and windswept tropical beaches and the sense of freedom that comes with life on the road.

„No title“ (2022)

After February 24, 2022, the perception somehow works in a different way. In trash bags, Ukrainians see corpses, in bread — food supply, in melodies they hear sirens, in loud sounds — explosion. I filmed this scene in a peaceful Venice after Bucha`s massacre photos had appeared on the internet. Dead father, running frightened boy, warships on the horizon.

For information about Katya Buchatska click >>here<<

„Let Me Reinstate My Agency. Russian Language Manipulations In Ukraine“

As someone born and raised in the Donetsk region, I would like to shed some light on the language situation in the eastern regions of my country, since language has been central to Russia’s manipulative claims to be ‘defending the rights and will’ of the local people. Both Russian and non-Russian-speaking communities, deprived of agency, have become the subjects of narratives built by the Russian state to justify their repeated military invasions…

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„March 26th“

I wake up every few hours amidst any kind of activity. Half-a-day barrages of catharses. Half a day of nothing. The thought does not let me alone that we are in some veteran’s recurrent nightmare, that they’ve slipped us a trauma that is not at all our own. Some dudes decided to create a reconstruction—with the same words, ideas, instruments, movements—a kind of game they’re using to displace what happened to them in WW2 and after. That the “great Russian nation” just needs to win the war again to forget that they’ve long been killed and repressed. Or maybe they feel that death is the only truth in their lives, and that’s why they so eagerly hurl their bodies at us, pressing to feel something a little real…

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„My Blossom“

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„Ukraine is my Pain“

Kateryna Zotova
was born in April 1987 in Kyiv, where she received her secondary and higher education. She met her husband in Crimea, and the family stayed in Kharkiv for the next 10 years.
For more information about Kateryna >>here<<

„Fragmented Notes“

My life in peaceful times could hardly be called stable. I used to have quite a short horizon of planning and a lot of spontaneity. Currently, my life became extremely fragmented. After the forced evacuation together with my children, we have been on the constant move from one place to another, from country to country. New tasks and unexpected challenges arise constantly. I have no possibility to concentrate on one thing…

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„We Are Dancing – Not Cops“ & „Graphic War Diary“

“We are dancing – not cops” is a dance of victory. I won, because I have nothing to lose, because my nothing is governmental everything. In reality, I am just “another one”, a repeater in the information space. In the impossibility to scream, I create a noise of all spectrums and colors…

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“I Notice the Extension”

„A mine has a long whistle. A howitzer projectile sounds almost like a mine, but there is less time for escape. „Grad“ in good weather can be heard from afar. A tank. Its shot can be heard along with the hit. „Smerch“ sounds like a take-off fighter“.

These are excerpts from popular advice on Ukrainian social networks. If you haven’t been under fire yet, you’re trying to remember, but in vain. Everything gets confused. However, when your city comes under fire, you just get this experience, the worst possible media experience, which is immediately embedded into everyday life…

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“The Crack of Friendship” (2018)

This is the video documentation of the performative act “The Crack of Friendship”, organized by artists and activists in Kyiv, Ukraine. During this event, organizers put up a temporary sticker in the form of a black crack on the „People’s Friendship Arch“ – a monument installed to symbolize the unity of the peoples of the USSR – in the center of the city. This performance took place in November 2018. The video documentation is in Ukrainian language and provided without subtitles. [Note written by Mariia Vorotilina]

After the termination of the hunger strike by Oleg Sentsov and Vladimir Balukh, the topic of illegally imprisoned citizens of Ukraine immediately disappeared from the headlines of the world mass media, from the agenda of high level meetings. Thus, it is important to make even more efforts to prevent them from being forgotten…

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„It came to me like that.“

How much longer to wait? What to do now? How to live? Everything got mixed up. Everything has changed.
On February 23, as usual, I came home from my workshop around midnight. We sat in the kitchen for quite a long time and talked. Among other things, there were feeble jokes about an “anxious suitcase”, as well as thoughts about what Michel Foucault would say about the present-day situation. As everybody went home, I pulled my backpack from the shelf, put some stuff inside, and lay down to read the news. After hearing the first explosions, I rather anxiously packed up all the things needed and went on reading…

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„The Atrocity Exhibition“

On January 28, we piloted a small-scale research on the representations of cruelty, violence, taboo, and eroticism. It included an open reading group called „Sickos“. This name refers to Stan Kelly’s comic „Painful Procedural,“ which depicts a world where all drugs are legalised, leaving the police with no crime to solve. In the comic frame, a family of „honest viewers“ witnesses the drugs legalisation with horror, while a man labeled „Sickos“ looks out of the window saying, „Yes… hahaha… Yes!“. This frame is often used to react to content expressing perverse enjoyment about something. At that time we thought the naming matched perfectly…

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Photo taken for Ilya a couple of hours before the first explosions, night-morning of February 24

Yesterday we were looking for towels in Lviv when a rocket hit the Mariupol maternity hospital. Normalization, you are merciless.
The memory is erased. What was yesterday, what was the day before?
Danya lives with us now. He said that our neighborhood is relatively safe, there are no infrastructural facilities nearby. By the way, there is no source with water nearby either. And we have not found any towels…

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„254 Action“

254 is Maria Kulikovska’s number as a registered refugee from the occupied Crimea since 2014. On July 1, 2014, Maria Kulikovska held an unauthorized performance during the opening of the biennale of contemporary art Manifesta’10, which took place in the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

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„!! ATTENTION ! Air Raid Sirens in Kyiv !!“

Bodies, minds, lands, green
and light blue: killed,
raped, gaslighted everyday
because of putin, baiden,
merkel, redbluewhite,
whatever rich-greedy,
They need resources, money,
bigger dicks, red, red, red.
why everyone knows about it
and green and light blue are
still killed, raped and
gaslighted BUT the
aggressors are still ok,
fine and even better? All
red and military green…

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„From February 24th“

My name is Sankova Daria. I’m an artist. I draw, do ceramics and take photos.
I study at the faculty of ceramics in Lviv (Ukraine).
I’ve taken this photo to ask for help on Instagram, so that people could share my post where I asked to donate money to the Ukrainian army and sign the petition to shelter the sky over Ukraine.
The sky is still not closed, and I do not own any information about the donations.
However, the photos have awoken many emotions, and, curiously, most of them were negative. It seemed to me that now is the time when we, Ukrainians, have to unite even on the internet.
I’m not in the bomb shelter. I’m safe with my mother and brothers in Germany. Soon I’ll be going to Poland to continue my education there. In Poland, I will also be able to do more volunteering for Ukraine…

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„In The Realms of the Un/Real“

I left Luhansk in 2014. The refugee status is not new for me. Now, for the tenth day of the Russian invasion I feel like I’m stuck in the evil loop. My first thought on the 24th Feb in the morning was that I’ve already survived it once, so I must know what to do. But now, let me remind you, it’s the tenth day of war and everything is completely different…

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„There Is No Name For It“

I woke up

I woke Misha up
took him to kindergarten
he wasn’t in in the kindergarten yesterday because he had a runny nose
the teacher told me where to pick up the kids if they’re taken to the bomb shelters
Rostik didn’t go to school because he had a fever yesterday
I did exercises and yoga
studied some English
talked to a therapist
the kindergarten teacher called me and told me Mischa had a fever and I had to pick him up before noon
Misha and I came back home, his fever went down by itself, we made some treats,
we watched Bleach and then the latest Matrix
In the school parents‘ chat it was written to bring the kids tomorrow in Vyshyvankas and ribbons, but Rostik won’t go, he has a sore throat
For some reason it all seems very poetic to me

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(c) Kateryna Lisovenko

„Fear Versus Love“

(c) Sana Shahmuradova

I woke up at 5 am in Kyiv because I heard an explosion. I got up immediately, took a quick shower, prepared cash and documents, and laid back in my bed hoping it was a noise coming from the dream I was seeing. Then shortly I heard another explosion and another. Maybe 4 in a row. I made a post on Instagram. Many of my friends responded immediately saying they heard it too: in Kyiv, Odessa, Kharkiv almost simultaneously.

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„It is not the ‚Ukrainian issue'“. A letter from a civil body on activism and cultural production at war

*Vzhvzhvzhvzhvzhvzhvzhzvzh vzhvzhvzhvzhvzhvzhvzhvzhvzh vzhvzhvzhvzhvzhvzhvzhvzhvzh vzhvzhvzhvzhvzhvzhvzh vzhvzhvzhvzhvzhvzhvzh* — what is that? Sirens? Grads? Russian air forces? Oh, it is a refrigerator. Awakening, the third day of Russian invasion all over Ukraine. 3 hours of sleep.

The first day was with real sirens.*Uuuuuuuuummmmmm* — “I have no shelters nearby. I better stay home”. Tried calling my partner, who was in another city. *U-u-u-u-u-u – no answer – u-u-u*.
*Vzhvzhvzhvzhvzh*. Next two secs: I saw a Russian airplane from the window. Third sec: explosion on the horizon. Vibrating walls. Frustrated, went to bed as nothing had happened. Still keeping my phone. *U-u-u*. “Hello…”. Huh.

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„Cheap People For Soldiers“. Hostage nation – Didovshina – Negotiation advantage

„Сон славянск“ 25/02/2022, Friday Night
At night, I am on the third train commuting from Kyiv to the western Ukraine. My girlfriend and I bought the tickets at around 6 am right after we heard explosions from the shelling in the distance and read all the news about the Russian invasion on social media. I immediately shared the news on my facebook and instagram. I called my mother and sister, and warned my friends, and colleagues about the situation. We packed hastily, things were prepared in advance – an “anxiety suitcase”, poured water in the bathtub, had a fast breakfast, washed the dishes, while monitoring the news online.

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