A screening of videos by Sarmen Beglarian, Vasyl Cherepanyn and Milica Tomić followed by a conversation together with Arna Mačkić on the resignification and destruction of monuments in Kyiv, Ukraine and Omarska, Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is the third edition of Monument, a collaboration with e-flux Architecture, to discuss how monuments have—once again—come to play a pivotal role in mobilizing and rearticulating struggles for recognition.
Antagonisms of Memory in Post-Maidan Kyiv by Sarmen Beglarian and Vasyl Cherepanyn
After the Maidan revolution and Russian military occupation of Ukraine in 2014, the realm of memory has also been occupied by militarism and political reaction. In the context of war and nationalist discursive dominance as one of its outcomes, ‘patriotic’ populism has been trying to externalize the Soviet period and retroactively nationalize historical memory. The policies of decommunization took a harsh and violent form in the city space destroying the imagery and monuments inherited from the socialist past. The video explores several communist memorials in today's Kyiv that are still difficult to integrate into the nation-state framework as constantly disturbing sites of political discontent. This is the international premiere of the video which was produced by the Polish Modern Art Foundation in the frame of the project Forming Memory. Monuments in Central Europe financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage as part of the Multiannual Program INDEPENDENT 2017-2021 and the grant program of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute Cultural Bridges. It is directed by Sarmen Beglarian and Sylwia Szymaniak, camera and editing by Michał Matejko, and drone operation by Oleh Veheria. Sarmen Beglarian is an art curator based in Warsaw, Poland. He is a curator and co-curator of exhibitions, festivals and installations in galleries and the public space. Vasyl Cherepanyn is Head of the Visual Culture Research Center in Kyiv, Ukraine. He recently co-edited Guidebook of The Kyiv International (Medusa Books, 2018) and '68 NOW (Archive Books, 2019) and curated The European International (Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam) and Hybrid Peace (Stroom, The Hague) projects.
Four Faces of Omarska by Milica Tomić
Four Faces of Omarska is an ongoing investigation of a complex vortex of contemporary and historical dynamics in a particular site in the former Yugoslavia, today’s Bosnia and Herzegovina. The title Four Faces of Omarska comes from four constitutive layers in the history of this mining complex in north-western Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was established in Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia as an iron ore mine. In 1992, at the beginning of the Yugoslav wars, Bosnian Serb forces and local authorities transformed the mine into a torture and death camp for Yugoslav Muslims, Croats and political prisoners. After the war, in 2004, ArcelorMittal the world’s leading trans-national steel and mining company assumed majority ownership of the Omarska mine and resumed commercial mining operations. Finally, in 2007 it was used as a shooting location for the film Saint George Shoots the Dragon, an historical ethno-blockbuster co-produced by film companies from Serbia and Republika Srpska. Milica Tomić is a Professor at TU Graz’s Institute for Contemporary Art, and works as an independent artist, based in Belgrade, exploring interrelations between art, society and public space by researching, unearthing and bringing to public debate issues related to memory, trauma and social amnesia.
Architect Arna Mačkić founded Studio L A together with Lorien Beijaert. In 2016, she published Mortal Cities and Forgotten Monuments, exploring the effects of war damage on a city’s inhabitants and the possibilities for rebuilding collective and inclusive identities through architecture. As of 2020, she is a member of the editorial board of the Architecture in the Netherlands Yearbook.
Monument is a collaboration between e-flux Architecture and Het Nieuwe Instituut, featuring essays by Arna Mačkić, Wayne Modest, Philipp Oswalt, Jorge Otero-Pailos, Robert Jan van Pelt, Valentina Rozas-Krause, and Mabel O. Wilson, and videos by Vasyl Cherepanyn, Manuel Correa, Quinsy Gario, Dima Srouji, The Black Archives, Milica Tomić, and Sumayya Vally. From the toppling and removal of statues to ongoing debates on contested objects, buildings, and landscapes, the series reconsiders the design and construction of monuments in relation to wider processes and structures of memorialization that reify social configurations.
e-flux Architecture is a sister publishing platform of e-flux, archive, and editorial project founded in 2016. Edited by Nikolaus Hirsch, Anton Vidokle, and deputy editor Nick Axel, the news, events, exhibitions, programs, journals, books, and architecture projects disseminated by e-flux Architecture describe strains of critical discourse surrounding contemporary architecture, culture, and theory internationally. Since its inception, e-flux Architecture has maintained a dynamic international program of projects and events in collaboration with leading institutions and practitioners.
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