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Updated: Apr 29

Wednesday 4 May

6:30-8:00pm

What Shall We Do With These Buildings: Kharkiv Preview Fundraiser and Film Screening


Location: The Christopher Ingold Auditorium, UCL Department of Chemistry, 20 Gordon Street, London, WC1H 0AJ


Please click here to book. Registration is free but essential


A fundraising preview screening of a film shot just months before the invasion in Ukraine, followed by a discussion with members of the film production, academics and invited guests from the Ukrainian architecture community.


This event is organised by The Bartlett School of Architecture in collaboration with PPV (Perverting the Power Vertical: Politics and Aesthetics in the Global East), an art and research platform based at the FRINGE Centre, UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies.


The film 'What Shall We Do With These Buildings?' is set in the city of Kharkiv, situated 30km from the Russian border. The city is the former capital of Soviet Ukraine. Soviet architecture is everywhere; the city's built environment is composed of the patrimony of this defunct regime. What should be done with these buildings? Should they be preserved, destroyed, repurposed? What power do they hold over the way people think and interact with their environment?


In trying to answer these questions, the film collects a diverse set of voices, from people who use these spaces every day to those who visit them only to tear them down. Interwoven within this patchwork of opinion is another kind of exploration. Dance runs through the film in playful counterpoint, providing another language to articulate the ways in which buildings move bodies.


Speakers

Jonathan Ben-Shaul

Jonathan is a movement and theatre director from London. Previously he studied English Literature at Cambridge University, and he graduated from L'École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq this summer. Since then, he has taught at Kharkiv School of Architecture, where he taught movement and dynamic sculpture to first year students and completed a residency in collaboration with the Literature Museum. He works internationally, having toured the east coast of the US, and brought theatre pieces to Norway and to the cellar of the National Theatre of Iceland. At the moment, he works with Akimbo Theatre Company and helps run an annual lantern parade in the town of Tonnerre in Burgundy.


Ievgenila Gubkina

Ievgenila is an architect, historian, educator and curator of architecture and art projects. She is a co-founder of the NGO Urban Forms Center and the avant-garde women's movement 'Modernistki'. Her work specialises in architecture and urban planning of the 20th century in Ukraine, and a multidispinary approach to heritage studies. Her first book 'Slavutych: Architectural Guide' was published in 2015 by DOM Publishers in Germany and was dedicated to the architecture of the last Soviet city of Slavutych, built after the Chornobyl disaster for workers of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant. In 2019, after many years of research, her second book 'Soviet Modernism. Brutalism. Post-Modernism. Buildings and Structures in Ukraine 1955–1991' was published by Osnovy Publishing and DOM Publishers. In 2020 she curated the 'Encyclopedia of Ukrainian Architecture' multimedia online project. After the Russian war against Ukraine started in 2022, she was forced to leave Kharkiv and temporarily moved to Latvia.


Michał Murawski

Michał Murawski is an anthropologist of architecture and lecturer in Critical Area Studies at UCL's School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES). His first book, 'The Palace Complex: A Stalinist Skyscraper, Capitalist Warsaw and a City Transfixed', was published by Indiana University Press in 2019. He is now working on a book about architecture, politics and violence in post-Soviet Moscow. Michał is Director of the FRINGE Centre at SSEES and Co-Convenor of PPV (Perverting the Power Vertical: Politics and Aesthetics in the Global East), an art and research platform based at UCL. More information about Michał’s research and writing can be found on his website: www.michalmurawski.net


Anka Kamyshan

Anna Kamyshan is the director of the Department of Conceptual Development and Research Projects at the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center, and the author of the ‘Glimpse into the Past’ installation on Victory Avenue in Kyiv. She worked at the Rotor Center for Contemporary Art in Graz (Austria), curated a number of artistic and architectural projects, including the Milan Triennial exhibition project. She graduated from the Art College named by Ivan Trush in Lviv, Kharkiv University of Architecture, studied philosophy and social theory at the University of Manchester. Also she graduated from the interdisciplinary Institute of Media, Architecture and Design ‘Strelka’. At the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center, she and her team are engaged in the in-depth study of the Babyn Yar territory and its development projects.


Mariia Rusanova

Mariia is an architect, an educator and a PhD student at the Kharkiv National University of Civil Engineering and Architecture. She was born and educated Kharkiv, where she gained her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree with honours in architecture and urbanism. Her research interests include modernism, its political, social and cultural significance, and its heritage preservation in Ukraine. Her recent articles include “Promoting heritage of the Newest Ukrainian architecture: from Eclecticism to Constructivism”, “Complex of Freedom Square in Kharkiv – chrestomathy of strategies for preserving the authenticity of avant-garde architecture”, and “Innovative concepts in the Kharkiv projects of J. Steinberg of the capital period”.


Make a Donation

Please consider donating to Evacuate Kharkiv (headed up by Igor Kliuchnyk, one of the actors in the film) and Kharkiv School of Architecture. Your donations will contribute to evacuation efforts and humanitarian aid for people of Kharkiv, and help KSA secure new premises and teaching infrastructure for its faculty and students as they navigate the current challenges of war and the future project of reconstruction.


Donate to Evacuate Kharkiv

Donate to Kharkiv School of Architecture


Image: Film still from 'What Shall We Do With These Buildings?'. Louis Norris and Daiana Sheludkevych, cinematographers for 'What Shall We Do With These Buildings?'.

Register for the event here


Updated: Apr 5

Saturday 26 March

3:00-8:30pm

Decolonising Russia's War on Ukraine: Thinking and Filmmaking on Invasion as a Structure




SYMPOSIUM (3-5pm)

FILM PROGRAMME (6-7:30pm)

Reference Point

180 The Strand


Tickets: £5 (minimum donation); £10 (suggested donation)

All ticket proceeds and bar proceeds to be donated to Ukraine’s resistance against Russia’s war*


Please click here for registration and ticket sales

Please click here for the streaming link


Co-organised by Vlad Vazheyevskyy, Sasha Shestakova, Anna Engelhardt and Michał Murawski


Supported by PPV (Perverting the Power Vertical), the FRINGE Centre for the Study of Social and Cultural Complexity, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, UCL and Reference Point


Short description

A day of talks, film screenings and conversations dissecting Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine as a colonial enterprise.


Full description

On 24 February 2022, Russia launched a new phase of its colonial war against Ukraine - a war which has been ongoing since 2014, with 15,000 lives lost. Since 24 February, tens of thousands more have died, and millions have been driven from their homes.


On 24 February 2022, Russian colonial violence suddenly ceased to be local knowledge. The world noticed. While this knowledge came as a surprise to many, Russian colonial violence has long been intimately known to Ukrainian decolonial scholars, filmmakers, writers, and artists. They have felt this violence on their own bodies and in their lives, and they have warned about it in their work.


This symposium is devoted to dissecting Russia's current war against Ukraine as a colonial enterprise; and to promoting understanding of Russian colonial violence as an essential part of planetary post-colonial and decolonial theory and practice.

STREAMING LINK


*Funds will be distributed among the following organisations:

https://helpingtoleave.org/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CbDEcFZtmlj/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CbE_ybItN0W/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CaXrGxVNKkW/


PROGRAMME


SYMPOSIUM (3-5pm)


Maksym Eristavi

Title TBC: Interview by Anna Engelhardt (Queen Mary University).


Abdurahman Avtorkhanov

Sasha Shestakova (Ruhr Universität) reading excerpts from “Empire of the Kremlin” (1988) by Chechen anticolonial historian Abdurahman Avtorkhanov. Translated into English for the symposium by Maksym D. Logvinov

Oleksiy Radynski (VCRC Kyiv)

The Case Against the Russian Federation


Daria Tsymbalyuk (University of St Andrews)

Erasure: Russian imperialism, my research on Donbas, and I


Victoria Donovan (University of St Andrews)

Archiving the now: decolonial resistance to cultural erasure in Ukraine, 2014-2022

Ievgeniia Gubkina (Urban Forms Centre, Kharkiv)

May You Destroy Me? The Rebuilding of Ukraine as a Process of Decolonisation



FILM PROGRAMME (6-7:30pm)

Vitaly Chernetsky (University of Kansas)

Title TBC


SUBVERTING PUTINIST GAS-LIGHTING

Curated by Olexii Kuchanskiy


One of the top-priority targets for missile attacks led by Russian troops are TV towers. Also, almost every Ukrainian now knows what an "informational psychological military operations" and "deepfakes" are, many people have learned fact-checking and continue to invent new ways to acquire agencies through information technologies – as means of consolidation and mutual support of refugees, grassroots transferring of humanitarian goods (for instance, food and medicine), and evacuation of people who are in the hottest areas.


At the same time, we observe how the Russian Federation pursues a consistent policy of gas-lighting, that is information war, in its own country, in Ukraine and worldwide. Accompanied by air-raid sirens and explosions in the basements, we receive many warnings from the Western and Russian people about the dangers of cooperating with NATO and the inevitability of escalating war in Ukraine. Many political decisions of Western states are affected by this gas-lighting.


Putinism, based on legal neopatriarchy, extractivism and militarism, has taken gas-lighting to a new level. Firstly, there is the Putinization of the political imagination, in which any alternative to the current state of affairs seems to be a mad delusion. Secondly, there is a close relation between these imaginary entities and the global network of Russian gas sales. Gas-lighting is a circumstance under which we, Ukrainians, find ourselves in the position of not-completely-being-humans – rather subjects of humanitarian support than of human rights. As we have seen, the boundaries of "humanity" are delineated by gas pipelines.


What can a moving image and a film in particular do in these processes? Are they capable of subverting them? The screening includes artistic practices that explore the ability of images to go beyond media sensations on a screen. These kinds of "empathic images" neutralize the distance between a spectator and a screen to allow evidence to do its work.


***

Letter to a Turtledove (2020, by Dana Kavelina)

The film is thus a second-degree feminist artistic appropriation of amateur footage shot during the war in the Donbass region of Ukraine, recombined into a surreal anti-war film-poem. The war videos are interspersed with Kavelina’s own animated segments, staged mise-en-scènes, and archival footage of the Donbass from the 1930s (when the region became a hotspot for Stalinist industrialization of the Soviet Union, and of heated class warfare) onwards.


There’s an actual poem at the film’s center: a monologue spoken off-screen, authored by Kavelina herself (and translated into English by Sergey Levchin). This piece of writing encapsulates the multitude of traumas, grievances, horrors, dreams, and hallucinations that have descended upon the Donbass region since its invasion by Russia in 2014. Still, numerous elements of this multitude originate from long before the war had actually broken out.


NO! NO! NO! (2017, by Mykola Ridnyi)

The main heroes of the film are the young people from Kharkiv, a city located in the Eastern part of Ukraine. Reaching their early twenties coincided with the breakout of the war in the neighbouring region of Donbass. An LGBT activist and poet, a fashion model, a group of street artists, a creator of a computer game – all of them are artists or working in the creative industries, typical for a peaceful life of a big city. However, the proximity to the war affects each of the characters and their activities. Heroes react and reflect political events through their specific relationships with the urban space and the reality of the social media.


Conversation with Freefilmers

What is filmmaking at war? Freefilmers, a self-organized collective of filmmakers mostly from Mariupil, remains keeping a critical framework of their own institutionings. The group uses its own network to protect the environment and experiment with disobjectifying the protagonists of documentaries, involving them in q&a-s at screenings and making decisions about film production. Today Freefilmers organizes transportation of refugees and humanitarian goods through Ukraine. Can this be considered a cinematic practice? How does this change the perception of cinema, art and the image itself?


Freefilmers is a cinemovement and NGO, which is a community of underground filmmakers, who film/troll/erode capitalism in Ukraine. The members are Sashko Protyah, Oleksandr Surovtsov, Iryna Berezneva, Yulia Serdyukova, Oksana Kazmina, Vasyl Lyah, Vova Morrow, Natasha Tselyuba.


Please click below for a PDF of the full programme, including speaker bios

Decolonisation Full Program (1)
.pdf
Download PDF • 4.13MB

Updated: Mar 7

Friday 18 March

6:00-7:30pm

For a Feminist Antifascism! A book launch for Ewa Majewska's book “Feminist Antifascism: Counterpublics of the Common” (Verso 2021)


Location: The Forum, Institute for Advanced Studies, South Cloisters, UCL, Gower Street London WC1E 6BT (pass through the Porter's Lodge on Gower Street and enter the building by the entrance to the right of the colonnade)


Registration free but essential!


In these dark times of fascism returning under the guise of conservatism, fundamentalism or even “defense of basic freedoms”, grassroots as well as institutional responses typically follow. In the times of the International Women's Strike, #metoo and Black Lives Matter and trans-solidarity however, these resistances most often have a woman’s face or that of many queer/ LGBTQI+ and POC identities. Is it true that the heroic versions of political agency, based on male socialization and privilege, are now being replaced by a plethora of weak, marginalized subjects working in solidarity? Do we witness a shift of power in the antifascist theory and movement? What happens in the borderlands of our political experiences and with our visions of utopia? Do we have a feminist future ahead?


These and further questions will be discussed, please come and join us! These questions need all the more urgently to be addressed in 2022. In the last weeks, the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, crossed dark new lines of global fascist patriarchal hegemony by brutally invading Ukraine and spreading this heroic macho politics across the border. More shockingly, Putin’s – now openly-expressed state fascism, complete with its morbid swastika-like “Z” symbol – perversely continues to smoke-screen itself as an operation of “denazification”. At the same time, queer and POC-communities are self-organising and offering some of the most heroic forms of resistance and humanitarian aid to people suffering and fleeing from Putin’s fascist war.


The book launch of Ewa Majewska's book “Feminist Antifascism: Counterpublics of the Common” (Verso 2021) will take place on 18 March at 6pm and will be held at The Forum, Institute of Advanced Studies, University College London. It is co-organised by PPV (Perverting the Power Vertical: Politics and Aesthetics in the Global East), a seminar and research platform based at UCL’s School for Slavonic and East European Studies; and Verso publishing House, London. We would love to invite you to participate! The event will consist of a short round of comments on my book from the invited respondents, followed a short response from the book's Author, and a general discussion. A small reception will follow after the seminar. Entrance is free of charge.

Invited Speakers


Tariq Ali has written more than two-dozen books on world history and politics—the most recent of which are The Clash of Fundamentalisms, The Obama Syndrome and The Extreme Centre—as well as the novels of his Islam Quintet and scripts for the stage and screen. He is a long-standing member of the editorial committee of New Left Review and lives in London.


Diann Bauer – is an artist and writer based in London. Much of her practice is interdisciplinary, projects include; Laboria Cuboniks, with whom she collaboratively wrote and published Xenofeminism, A Politics for Alienation in 2015. (laboriacuboniks.net) and A.S.T. (http://a-s-t.co/), a working group of artists, architects and curators focusing on urbanism and climate change. Bauer has screened/exhibited at Tate Britain, The ICA, The Showroom and FACT Liverpool, Deste Foundation, Athens, The New Museum, and Socrates Sculpture Park, New York. She has worked with Arts at CERN and was part of the team working on the German Pavilion at the 2021 Architecture Biennale in Venice.


Marsha Bradfield – rides the hyphen as an archivist-artist-curator-educator-researcher-writer-and, and, and. Her practice variously considers the subject of interdependence. Recent work in dialogic art explores authorship, value systems, organisational structures and the economies/ecologies of collaborative cultural production. Marsha is the Course Leader of MA Intercultural Practices at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London.


Ewa Majewska – is a feminist philosopher and activist, living in Warsaw. She taught at the University of Warsaw and the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland, she was also a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley; ICI Berlin and IWM in Vienna. She published one book in English, Feminist Antifascism. Counterpublics of the Common (Verso, 2021) and four books in Polish, as well as 50 articles and essays, in journals, magazines and collected volumes, including: e-flux, Signs, Third Text, Journal of Utopian


Tim Waterman is Associate Professor of Landscape Theory at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London. He is the author of The Landscape of Utopia: Writings on Everyday Life, Taste, Democracy, and Design and editor of Landscape Citizenships with Ed Wall and Jane Wolff, Landscape and Agency: Critical Essays with Ed Wall, and the Routledge Handbook of Landscape and Food with Joshua Zeunert.


Michał Murawski (Chair) – is Lecturer in Critical Area Studies School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London, the Director of FRINGE Centre for the Study of Social and Cultural Complexity and Convenor at PPV *Perverting the Power Vertical* Politics + Aesthetics in the Global East. He published The Palace Complex: A Stalinist Skyscraper, Capitalist Warsaw and a City Transfixed (Indiana University Press, 2019) and is co-editor (with Jonathan Bach) of Re-Centring the City: Global Mutations of Socialist Modernity (UCL Press, 2020).


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