Donbas Studies DS


Visual history of Donbas (‘Labour, Exhaustion, and Success: company towns of the Donbas’ book presentation)

23.06, 5 pm
Book presentation
Iryna Sklokina

Labour, Exhaustion and Success (Lviv, 2018) edited by Volodymyr Kulikov and Iryna Sklokina. This project was developed in partnership with the Center for Urban History of East Central Europe (Lviv) and the Kowalski Program of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (Kharkiv). The book is an attempt to represent the history of Donbas of the XIX-XXth centuries through the lens of life of local citizens and founders of industrial company towns. It was hard work of workers, managers, and businessmen that led to success. However, success also comes at a price – it is the exhaustion of human and natural resources. The book tells about who the residents of the company towns were, what were their daily routines, work, and leisure time; how the relations were developing between people and different social groups. Special focus is on natural, built and social landscapes of Donbas, on how they changed in the process of industrialization and urbanization, and also how the attitudes to them were changing, along with the cultural insights, both from a perspective of residents themselves, the travelers, and newcomers. An important material for analysis of this change were photographic sources. In the book, they serve not only as illustrations but also as the food for thought about strategies of visual representation of the 19th-21st century industrial city.

10 Years of Cultural Conversion 24.06, 7 pm

Public talk
Mykhailo Glubokyi

Mykhailo Glubokyi will talk about different strategies and approaches engaged by IZOLYATSIA in the last 10 years. A special focus of the talk is the rehabilitation of former industrial areas (cases of Donetsk and Kyiv). The talk will also discuss some of IZOLYATSIA’s principles: the open nature of foundation’s projects, their socially inclined character, their innovative approach towards creativity and culture in the lives of communities, and a willingness to develop a local cultural environment. Mykhailo Glubokyi is a development and communication director at IZOLYATSIA and has been working with the foundation since 2011.

From Wales to Ukraine: the Hughesovka Story

25.06, 7 pm
Exhibition opening
Victoria Donovan and Stefhan Caddick

Drawing on the riches housed at the Hughesovka Research Archive at the Glamorgan Archives, Cardiff, UK, this exhibition explores the history of migration from South Wales to Ukraine at the end of the nineteenth century. In 1868, the Welsh mining industrialist, John Hughes, together with a team of around a hundred Welsh miners set up a metallurgical plant and railway works in the coal and iron-ore rich territories of the Ekaterinoslav gubernia. Over the next decade, the migrant workforce built eight blast furnaces, collieries, mines, brickworks and rail lines. The British population established social and cultural institutions – an Anglican church, a British school, a hospital, and a fire service – but also more whimsical imitations of British life such as tearooms, tennis courts and amateur dramatics clubs. The exhibition showcases dozens of personal documents, including letters, memoirs, and photos, that reveal the hopes and anxieties of those who moved to Ukraine in search of a better life.

Exhibition curators:
Stefhan Caddick is an artist based in South Wales who works across a range of disciplines including archive film, installation and performance. Much of his work is socially engaged and often takes place in the dark. Stefhan has shown extensively across the UK and internationally. Recent projects include Noctule for Green Man festival and Ebbwferric, a research project funded by the Arts Council of Wales.
Victoria Donovan is a Lecturer in Russian and the Director of the Centre for Russian, Soviet, Central and East European Studies at the University of St Andrews. She was a BBC/AHRC New Generation Thinker in 2016-2017 and a British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award holder in 2019.

Starobilsk Portrait

28.06, 18:00
Film screening and discussion
Clemens Poole

Clemens Poole presents his video project Starobilsk Portrait together with a discussion of media, the intersection of documentary and art practices, and contemporary visualization of Eastern Ukraine. Starobilsk Portrait is a video art project filmed in 2018 in Starobilsk, a small city in Luhansk region. The project seeks to problematize our cultural appetite for images of war by examining a community adjacent to, but not untouched by, the War in Donbas. Assembled from a collection of portrait style images of people, spaces, and objects, the videos and commentaries ask us to reconsider how we prioritize visual information, why we need to, and the limits our our capacity to do so.
Clemens Poole is a New York based artist and curator. He is a graduate of the Cooper Union School of Art, Columbia University and London School of Economics. His work with IZOLYATSIA includes a number of initiatives, including ZAHOPLENNYA (2014) which dealt with the subject of the occupation of public spaces, the guerilla campaign #onvacation during the Venice Biennale of Contemporary Art (2015) and one of the mentors of the international residency Architecture Ukraine and co-curator of its accompanying exhibition at the Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale (2016). For the 2019 Donbas Studies Summer School, he will share material from his video project Starobilsk Portrait (2018).

Guided tour of Lysychansk

29.06, 9:30
Levon Azizian

The tour will start in the so called Fox Beam, a place where first ore deposits were discovered and which gave Lysychansk its unofficial name of ‘a cradle of Donbas’. The next stop will be first mining school in Ukraine. Finally we will arrive to the Museum of Local History. Levon Azizian is a human rights activist and a project coordinator at the Norwegian Refugee Council. He also has a passion for culture and local history. This year Levon Azizian organised Wiki Loves Monuments exhibitions in Starobilsk and Lysychansk and on June 28-30 he is organising a festival of local history and culture called Terra Fox, which will culminate with a rave in Lysychansk.

Community Culture Bus

28 – 30.06
Sieverodonetsk – Lysychansk – Borivske

The Community Culture Bus is an experimental mobility project in regional Ukraine, The main aim of the project is to promote contemporary arts and culture in Ukraine’s smallest cities; to support the decentralization of the cultural sector and its development in villages, especially amongst young people; and to develop cultural mobility in Ukraine. The Community Culture Bus serves to reinforce community development initiatives through cultural activities.
The Community Culture Bus creates an alternative public space for art events, a place for collaboration between artists and the local community, a meeting point for discussion, presentations and communication, and varied educational programs.

The Community Culture Bus itself is a multifunctional creative mobile space, created by transforming a city bus into a cultural hub. This project partially revives the old tradition of avant garde museology and the practice of wandering exhibitions, which Ukrainian artists put on at the beginning of the 19th century.

AZOT museum

01.07, 10:30

AZOT museum tells a story of the AZOT plant. First opened in 1974, together with the history of the plant the museum also presents the history of Sieverodonetsk, which grew around the plant. This is the only museum in the city.

Semiotic Ghosts of Sieverodonetsk

01.07, 17:00
Anton Lapov Radio-walk

Semiotic Ghosts of Sieverodonetsk explores possibilities of expressing socio-political space connotations through a method of a radio-walk. This practice combines collective walking with listening to special audio compositions. The walk is structured along a trajectory chosen by an author and will cover several reference points in the space of Sieverodonetsk.
Anton Lapov is an artist, musician and independent curator. His practice follows a multidisciplinary approach based on his interest in new media, sound-art, creative coding, digital humanities and experimental museology. He is constantly in search of non-conventional forms of art representation by means of the creation of processual communicative situations. Being involved in the sphere of artistic/curatorial production, he also conducts research into the history of Ukrainian sound-art/electronic music and local artistic communities of Eastern Ukraine.