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Panel Discussion "How War Shapes Ukrainian Art and Decoloniality".  

September 8th at 6 PM Kyiv time


Registration: https://cutt.ly/vX8N3F2


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about joining the meeting.


Kateryna Iakovlenko is a  Luhansk-born Ukrainian visual art researcher and writer, a Fulbright Research and Development Program Fellow 2021-22, the U.S. Shevchenko Society, New York, NY, USA. She is ABD in New Media and Communication (focused on the heroic narrative of the Donbas in Soviet and post-Soviet media and art). She worked as a reporter and deputy web editor of "The Day newspaper" (2012-14), curator and program manager of the Donbas Studies Research Project at Izolyatsia (2014-15), and researcher and curator of public programs at PinchukArtCentre (2016-21). Among her publications are the books Gender Research (2015), Why There Are Great Women Artists in Ukrainian Art (2019), special issue Euphoria and Fatigue: Ukrainian Art and Society after 2014 (with Tatiana Kochubinska, 2019). Her current research touches upon the role of art and culture during political transformation and war. Currently, she is a Research Fellow at The School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London, London, UK.

Looking at the Ukrainian Landscape

The image of the landscape became one of the essential topics of Ukrainian art. By depicting nature and the environment, Ukrainian artists emphasize their loss and Ukrainian resistance to freedom. Today, facing the Russian war in Ukraine, the landscape image appeared in contemporary art with new power. In her talk, Kateryna Iakovlenko will touch upon changes in the representation of this landscape, comprehending not only today's experience of war but also recalling Ukrainian art of the 1990s, when artists took a critical look at the Soviet experience for the first time problematizing it as post-colonial.

Asia Bazdyrieva is an art historian, Fulbright Graduate Student Program Fellow 2015-16, The City College of New York, The City University of New York, New York, NY, USA. She is a Ph.D. candidate in the Make/Sense program between FHNW Academy of Art and Design in Basel and University of Arts in Linz. Her research interests span across visual culture, (feminist) epistemology, and environmental humanities at large, and pay particular attention to the project of Soviet modernity with its ideological and material implications in spaces, bodies, and lands. She holds master's degrees in art history from the City University of New York and analytical chemistry from the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv.

Field notes on Subjectivity

in her talk, Asia Bazdyrieva will take a few artworks, created in Ukraine in 2014-22, as case studies to address the emergence of what historians call “new Ukrainian subjectivity”. By looking at visual tropes in these artworks as well as the modes and geographies of their production, she will speak about the deconstruction of symbolic orders inherited from the Soviet past, forms of engagement with the current political landscape, as well as the construction of new utopias.

Mayhill C. Fowler, Ph.D is a historian and associate professor in the Department of History at Stetson University, DeLand, FL, USA. She was a Fulbright U.S. Scholar to Ukraine 2019-20 and is an affiliated researcher with the Center for Urban History in Lviv. Her first book, Beau Monde on Empire's Edge: State and Stage in Soviet Ukraine (Toronto, 2017), tells the story of the making of theater both Soviet and Ukrainian through a collective biography of young artists and officials in the 1920s and 1930s. Her current book manuscript Comrade Actress: Soviet Ukrainian Women on the Stage and Behind the Scenes, re-thinks theater in Ukraine over the long 20th century through a focus on its women. She is also working on a book about the former Soviet Army Theater in Lviv and how societies tell war (War Stories: Theater on the Frontlines of Socialism). She has published widely on all aspects of theater and culture in Ukraine, most recently in Slavic Review and Ukraina Moderna. She was a faculty member with the International Summer School of the Social Sciences from 2013-19, held in many cities throughout Ukraine, has taught in summer schools of Jewish history and culture in Lviv and Kharkiv, and is a member of the organizing committee of the Danyliw Seminar in Ukrainian Studies and a full member of the Shevchenko Scientific Society in New York. A former actress, Mayhill C. Fowler holds a master’s degree in Acting (MFA) from the National Theater Conservatory (2000) and a BA in Slavic Languages from Yale University (1996). She holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University (2011) and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute and the University of Toronto.

Theater as Resistance to Empire across Ukraine’s 19th to 21st centuries

This talk tackles the epistemological problem posed by Russia’s war against Ukraine in analysis of the 19th and 20th centuries: how do we draw in both imperial structures and regional distinctiveness into our understanding of the arts? The scholarly language of postcolonialism is often inadequate to capture the complexity of the lives of artists in Ukraine, marked by multiple nations and empires, violence, and resistance, as well as (all too often) archival silences. Through examples of theater artists from the 19th through 21st centuries this Dr. Fowler’s talk shows how Ukraine has consistently challenged dominant notions of center and periphery. Theater has the capacity to support empire, but also to undermine it, and we need the tools in our discussions to capture the nuances of the relationship between the arts, state, and society.

Lesia Kulchynska is a Kyiv-based curator and visual studies researcher, a Fulbright Research and Development Program Fellow 2018-19, New York University, New York, NY, USA. She teaches the course “Violence of the Image” at the Kyiv Academy of Media Arts. She worked as a curator at the Visual Culture Research Center / VCRC (2011-19) and Set Independent Art Space (2019-20), and as a researcher at the Research Platform of the Pinchuk Art Center (2021-22). Among her curatorial projects are: Ukrainian Body (2012), Some Say You Can Find Happiness There (2015), The School of the Lonesome – at The School of Kyiv (Kyiv Biennial, 2015), The Raft CrimeA (2016), Somewhere Out There Somewhere Beside (Nida, 2019), Art= Capital ? Public Self-Reflection Program at Kyiv Art Fair (Kyiv, 2020), The Reason of Disappearance (Kyiv, 2021), Radically Different Society (New York, 2021), State of Emergence (Bucharest, 2022), Sweet Dreams Foundation (Nida, 2022), Love Tales (Geneva, 2022).

Lesia Kulchynska is the author of the book Meaning Production in Cinema: Genre Mechanisms (Kyiv, 2017), the talk show Sincerely about art, and a founder of the Mobile school of visual education and of the Service project. She also is co-editor of The Right to the Truth: Conversations on Art and Feminism (Kyiv, 2019) and Joseph Beuys. Everyone is an artist (Kyiv, 2020). Currently she is a post-doctoral fellow at Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max Planck Institute for Art History, Rome, Italy.

State of Emergence. Artistic practices of navigating the collapse.

War brings a state of emergency, a situation of extreme danger where ordinary daily life is no longer possible and the rules that regulate it are no longer valid. The casual structures are broken. Nothing is predictable, nothing is stable, nothing is guaranteed. While reality is collapsing, it has to be created anew, with every step. Artistic practices emerging in response to these conditions are in the focus of Lesia Kulchynska’s talk.

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