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1 March 2024


The Masaryk Room

4th Floor

UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies

16 Taviton Street, WC1H 0BW

Ukrainian Women Artists at War. A story of resistance and care

The Russian war in Ukraine directly affects culture by destroying museums and heritage. How does contemporary art resist and reflect such cruelty? What happens to contemporary Ukrainian art when it is caught up in war, and when it experiences constant, systematic trauma?

In her report, Kateryna Iakovlenko will talk about a woman's view of war: how to be a woman artist, an artist and a mother, an artist engaged in volunteering? What other roles did the war prepare for women artists, and how did these women artists cope with these roles?

Kateryna Iakovlenko is a Digital Editor-in-Chief of PBC: Suspilne Culture; Ukrainian contemporary art researcher, curator, and writer. Among her publications is the book Why There Are Great Women Artists in Ukrainian Art (2019), a special issue Euphoria and Fatigue: Ukrainian Art and Society after 2014. Among her curatorial exhibitions are I dreamed of beasts (Labirynt Gallery, 2022-2023, with Halyna Hleba), Everyone is afraid of the baker, and I thank you (apartment exhibition, Irpin, 2022) and Our Years, Our Words, Our Losses, Our Searches, Our Us (Jam Factory, Lviv, 2023, with Natalia Matsenko and Borys Filonenko). She is also a co-curator of the Secondary Archive project (2022) and Secondary Archive project: Women Artists at War (2024).

Perverting the Power Vertical (PPV) is an event platform and seminar series based at the UCL SSEES.

Booking link coming soon

5 February 2024


Room 6.02, Bartlett School of Architecture

22 Gordon Street



United Kingdom

The ABC of the Projectariat: Precarious conditions of labour in creative industries: an Aleatoric performance and discussion

Freelance artists, designers and architects do projects in order to make a living. Those mobile projectarians roam the art world, where enthusiasm is paired with exclusion, mobility with poverty, self-entrepreneurialism with anxiety. Writer, curator and activist Kuba Szreder will dissect the ups and downs of this unpredictable existence in an aleatoric lecture, performing a random selection of entries from his recently published book The ABC of the Projectariat (2021). Beginning with “A is for Aftermath (of the pandemic)”, and concluding with “Y is for You are Not Alone”, this handbook addresses both the daily grind of projectarians through entries such as “A is for Applications” and “D is for Deadlines” and the systemic conditions of their labour. It reveals a harsh reality of winner-takes-it-all economy, structurally marked by competition and exclusion. Szreder’s performative lecture will be followed by an open discussion, focused on the practical modes of coping with the systemic pressures of highly networked world, devised and tested by projectarians themselves, such as interdependent self-organisation, mutual support, and other forms of action, art strikes, productive withdrawals, political struggles and better social time machines.

Kuba Szreder is a lecturer in the department of art theory at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, who combines his research with interdependent curatorial practice. He has made over a hundred projects as a freelance curator, writer, lecturer, and organiser. He has co-initiated and cooperated with numerous collectives, research clusters and artistic trade unions on local and international scales, such as Free/Slow University of Warsaw, the Centre for Plausible Economies in London and the Office for Postartistic Practices in Poland. He is author and editor of multiple readers, articles, and book chapters on theory and sociology of contemporary art. His latest is The ABC of the Projectariat: Living and Working in a Precarious Art World (2021). In this short lexicon, Szreder argues that, just as proletarians had nothing to lose but their chains, the projectarians have nothing to miss but their deadlines.

Co-hosted by the Situating Architecture Series, Bartlett School of Architecture; with the PPV (Perverting the Power Vertical: Politics & Aesthetics) platform at the FRINGE Centre, UCL SSEES / UCL IAS.


12 January 2024

6:30-8:30pm, The Masaryk Room, UCL SSEES


The Masaryk Room

4th Floor

UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies

16 Taviton Street, WC1H 0BW

The event is free and available to everyone. Booking essential.

Surzhyk: A Transparent Double Mask

This talk delves into the instruments used by Russian imperialism to undercut Ukrainian identity, through the prism of the complex and dynamic historical and contemporary relationship between language hybridisation and purification. It provides a brief history of the persecutions that led to the widespread appearance of the Russian language in Ukraine; and the consequent contempt (on the part of “pure” Ukrainian as well as Russian speakers) towards Surzhyk, the assimilated local idiom comprising elements of both Ukrainian and Russian.

It proposes the concept of a transparent double mask—in reference to Frantz Fanon’s white mask—to refer to the process of subjection to power apparatus/es, in particular by embracing the superior language standard, here either Russian or Ukrainian. In the context of Russia’s war and imperial politics against Ukraine, Surzhyk serves as a tool of resistance to colonial threats in disrupting the symbolic order of established languages.

Milena Khomchenko is an art researcher and writer from Ukraine and a co-founder and curator of SONIAKH. With the support of a Chevening award, she completed an MA in Aesthetics and Art Theory at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (CRMEP) at Kingston University London. She holds a BA in Philology, English language and Ukrainian language from the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. Her texts have been published in Frieze, KAJET, L’Internationale Online, Spike Art Magazine, Danarti, KORYDOR, ArtsLooker, Blok, Your Art, and others. Among her curatorial projects is Let the long. Road. Lead. That. Stairs in. The Heavens at PLATO (Ostrava, Czech Republic), Closed Futures at DCCC (Dnipro, Ukraine), etc. She is co-author and archivist of the book MUHi 2009–2021 (Osnovy Publishing, 2022). 


Perverting the Power Vertical (PPV) is an event platform and seminar series based at the UCL SSEES.

SONIAKH is a platform amplifying voices and visions from Ukraine and those of Ukraine’s allies and neighbors—by artists, activists, and scholars—in response to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, and its worldwide propaganda machine. It strongly supports Ukrainian statehood and the right of Ukrainians to defend themselves against the Russian colonial invasion.

Booking essential, please click here for the UCL booking site

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