Ukrainian Decolonial Glossary is a compilation of concepts from de- and post-colonial theories, featuring examples specific to the Ukrainian context.

The first edition of this glossary will showcase 20 terms, each contributed by diverse Ukrainian researchers, writers and artists.

Curatorial team of the project: Yullia Elyas, Anastasiia Omelianiuk, Iva Naidenko, Nadiia Koval.

Project Goals and Objectives

Our goal is to develop a comprehensive glossary for representatives of culture and related fields, serving as a tool for:

  • consolidating the community of cultural workers in Ukraine to address contemporary challenges related to coloniality, imperialism, and dealing with the Soviet past;
  • organizing information on the topic and creating a specialized extended dictionary for cultural workers in Ukraine;
  • popularizing the dictionary and expanding the number of adaptations for different contexts;
  • fostering dialogue and recognizing subjectivity in the hierarchy of various knowledge archives in foreign institutions.

Preconditions for the Emergence of the Project and the Need for Creating a Glossary

The idea of Ukraine, on one hand, as a buffer zone for the security of the EU, and on the other hand, as an appendage to the empire, long reflected the absence of Ukraine in the European cultural and intellectual space. After the events on February 24, the discourse on the need to reconsider how knowledge about Ukraine was produced globally through the prism of Moscow epistemologies, often disguised as “East European” studies, gained momentum.

A critical and nuanced analysis of Ukrainian contexts through the lens of colonial theories can be found in the works of Vira Ageieva, Tamara Gundorova, Vitaliy Chernetskyy, Oksana Zabuzhko, Mark Pavlyshyn, Mykola Ryabchuk (and many others). We plan to make this rich body of work accessible to a wider audience. Following the full-scale invasion, the themes of coloniality and decolonization began to gain popularity beyond academic circles like never before. Alongside this, questions arose about the importance of critically using these methodologies, rather than borrowing or copying, as rightly noted by the thinkers mentioned earlier. We aim to contribute to the dissemination and critical use of tools related to post- and decolonial concepts in Ukrainian contexts. This will not only deepen the understanding of Ukraine’s past but also actively engage in the global intellectual struggle against colonial epistemologies.

The first presentation of the project together with the official launch of the website took place on April 17 in the city of Utrecht (Netherlands) at BAK (basis voor actuele kunst).

The recording of the event is available on our website or via this link: https://shorturl.at/fpwO6 (the language of the event is English).

Next presentations of the project are planned in Germany, Austria and Ukraine.

 

We invite you to subscribe to our social networks on Instagram: @decolonial.glossary_ua and Facebook: Decolonial Glossary UA, as well as to visit the project website: https://decolonialglossary.com.ua/ to familiarize yourself with all the articles of the Ukrainian Decolonial Glossary.

 

Ukrainian Decolonial Glossary is supported by the European Union under the House of Europe programme.

Kunst Raum Mitte is the reorganization of galerie weisser elefant, which was founded in East Berlin in 1987. With Natalie Keppler and Agnieszka Roguski, the communal art space will have new artistic directors in 2024. As a prelude to the program, a two-month research residency will be announced, in which artists and cultural practitioners can explore the historical material of galerie weisser elefant for the first time. More information about the Open Call here.

 

http://www.kunstraummitte.berlin/#en 

Since its founding, Kim? has occupied various rented locations, often initiating cultural revitalization in neglected areas through its activities. From 2009 to 2016, the Kim? Contemporary Art Centre was situated in Spīķeri, transforming the space into a hub for art exhibitions using its own resources. However, following the sale of this property, Kim? was compelled to relocate. In 2016, it became the pioneering tenant of the Sporta Quarter, playing a key role in making this space accessible to the public. Now, as Kim? approaches its 15th anniversary, there is a strategic plan to broaden its scope within the new premises to complement its program with artist residencies and workshops.

“Kim? has proven itself for 15 years, supporting Latvian artists and promoting their careers both here and abroad. Yet, despite our successes, we’ve never had a place to call our own, with a significant portion of our budget swallowed by high rents. Now, securing a permanent home opens up new possibilities. Instead of giving our funds to private investors, we can channel more of them into nurturing the talent of our artists,” says Evita Goze, Executive Director of Kim?.

“It’s a great development that the property at Hanzas Street 22, previously unused by the public sector, will now serve a wonderful new purpose with Kim? Contemporary Art Centre is taking the reins. Kim? is recognized for its significant role in the contemporary art world, essentially serving the public in a unique and meaningful way. For years, there’s been a collaborative effort to plan the future of this location, and after a thorough evaluation of Kim? ‘s activities and ambitions, it’s clear they have a solid plan for both the building’s use and their fundraising strategies. We’re genuinely excited about this partnership because Kim? is set to become not just a tenant but a responsible steward of this space. The building is on the brink of a vibrant transformation, promising a fresh start for both the structure and the art center, which will surely turn it into a bustling, well-curated hub for artistic endeavors,” says Andris Vārna, Board member of the State Real Estate.

From 1948 to 2015, the building at Hanzas Street 22 housed the Riga Food Industry Technical School and the Riga Business College, but it has been empty since 2015. Last December, the public got a sneak peek at the new location when one of its halls hosted the four-day exhibition Black Market ’23, an art market exhibition with 26 artists from Latvia. The building will make its grand public debut in the summer of 2024 when Kim? will celebrate its 15th anniversary with a new contemporary art festival “New Address: EDEN”. Development of a construction project for the new address has been launched by the architecture office Vilnis Mičulis. In the upcoming months, Kim? will present a more comprehensive plan of the future home and the project’s progress to the public.

For Solomiya Magazine, Ukraine is one of the very hearts of Europe’s democratic societies. As an independent magazine founded in response to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Solomiya is the result of an engaged, decolonial involvement of artists with their environment shaped by an unprecedented imperial aggression.

The magazine is a platform for both emerging and established Ukrainian creatives, using a wide range of forms of expression from visual arts to text that entail personal experiences, emotional observations and intellectual discourses. Solomiya offers its readers profound, diverse and subjective perspectives on current realities and complex social issues in Ukraine – and beyond.

Publishing annually and entirely in English, unconventional design and exceptional visual approaches are at the core of its creation process conducted in both Kyiv and Berlin. Solomiya is proud to be printed vegan, shipped worldwide and available in all major European capitals.

The mission is to bridge the gap between the art world and the general public, to increase understanding and appreciation of contemporary art and to provide a safe space for discussion of contemporary issues. This is due to our firm belief that art has a key role to play in shaping our society and can be a means of fostering social cohesion and understanding. We aim to continue the continuous process of creating a multi-genre platform for contemporary art through our initiative, which enables dialogue and creative exchange between different artistic disciplines and communities. Thanks to its network of collaborators and partners, the project is able to adapt quickly to new conditions.

Petrohradská was founded in 2015 as a studio complex for artists, designers and creatives from related disciplines who were looking for a space for their creative work. The founders of the project are Edita Štrajtová and Daniel Konopáč. In the eight years since then, the project has grown and expanded into other sectors of cultural activities and has become a platform for interdisciplinary cooperation on the domestic and international scene. This year it celebrated its ninth season. In the context of the project’s work, the word collaboration has an unforgettable meaning. Since the foundation of the initiative, a number of cultural workers, entities and individuals have become part of the programmes of the Petrohradská kolektiv, to whom the project has provided space in exchange for mutual dramaturgical enrichment and the joint building of a domestic alternative cultural scene, whether in the field of contemporary art, experimental music, performance art, art theory or audiovisual.

 

https://petrohradskakolektiv.com/

roam projects e. V. is a non-profit Berlin based association founded in 2022 and active since 2020. The goal of the association is to set an example against the dynamics of gentrification and to be hereby openly critical of outdated and unsustainable structures in the art market and cultural landscape. roam projects e. V. as an association engages with international protagonists of the free and independent art scene by strengthening transnational connections. The primary focus is on the art and cultural exchange with Eastern Europe, predominantly with Estonia, Bulgaria and Ukraine. Please find out more about our initative here.

Within our fast-growing network, we are looking for collaborators who share our ideal as a co-creational community. roam projects e. V. manages residencies and exhibitions at roam space in Berlin and organises artists’ exchanges abroad with partner institutes. The association welcomes new members: you can join here <3

The project space called roam is located in Berlin-Kreuzberg and started its initiative in March 2021. The versatile brutalist space, fully in size of 65 square metres, offers a great opportunity for creating artworks, hosting gatherings and exhibiting art and can be used for both accommodation and as an artist studio.

 

https://www.roam-projects.eu

The platform was created primarily due to dissatisfaction with the situation in contemporary Belarusian art, as well as the relative invisibility of the experience of Belarusian art in the Eastern European and international context. By inertia, the official cultural policy of Belarus preserved the features of the Soviet period, borrowing the centralized vertical bureaucratic system of cultural management. On the one hand, the current political regime in the mid–1990s abolished or greatly complicated the activities of independent institutions (non-state galleries, foundations, associations), as well as criminalized foreign funding, which led to a long-term stagnation of the art system and the absence of an institute for the study of contemporary Belarusian art which would conduct archival activities and promote integration into the international artistic context. As a result, during the reassessment of the artistic experience of Eastern Europe in all major studies of the 1990s and 2000s, Belarus was practically excluded from the general archive, remaining a “white spot” on the map of Eastern European art. Although there are various official institutions in the country, their activities lack effective research and archival work in the field of current art and cannot withstand criticism.

After 2005, in the environment of independent culture, there are noticeable processes of activation and consolidation of the art community, which led to the opening of non-state institutions – galleries, publications, Internet portals, research and exhibitions. A large amount of material was collected, which requires the preservation and accumulation of accumulated information and experience to create an open archive of contemporary Belarusian art, not only to avoid the loss and oblivion of another period of art development, but also as an example of the fight against the arbitrariness of the official cultural policy. This is how the decision was made to create an independent research platform of contemporary Belarusian art.

 

https://kalektar.org/k

ZETA Center for Contemporary Art is a non-profit exhibition space founded in 2007 by Valentina Koça. With its 150 square-meter area on the second floor of a mixed residential and commercial building at Abdyl Frashëri Street in downtown Tirana, ZETA functions as an autonomous cultural venue for multidisciplinary approaches to visual arts, including painting, sculpture, photography, video, installation, sound, and performance.

Over the last twelve years ZETA has contributed significantly to the vitality and dynamics of contemporary art scene in Albania starting with “Undisclosed Drawings” (2007), a solo show of unknown works by Edi Hila created between 1970 and 1989, through “The Title of an Oeuvre” (2008) – an overview of Communist era posters designed by the late Franc Ashiku – and “Unstoppable Rhythm” (2008), a show of abstract paintings by Ali Oseku (“an artist who never came to terms with socialist realism” and whose non-conformist public appearance led to his imprisonment during Enver Hoxha’s rule), to Lumturi Blloshmi’s satirical, defiant and daringly provocative series of works presented on the occasion of her solo project “It’s a Wonderful Life” (2009). In addition, ZETA has actively supported the development of new artistic practices by providing institutional support for the up-and-coming generation of artists from Albania and overseas.

Besides exhibitions, ZETA also hosts educational programs, workshops and discursive events reflecting on the pressing socio-cultural issues of our times in relation to visual arts. While acting as a nexus of collaborative practices between artists and curators, critics, researchers and other art professionals, ZETA has developed partnerships with local, regional and international institutions such as: T.I.C.A – Tirana Institute of Contemporary Art; University of Arts Tirana; Municipal Art Gallery of Shkodra; and Residency Unlimited, New York. Through YVAA – The Young Visual Artists Awards Network, ZETA has served as a co-organizer of the Ardhje Award for contemporary visual artists from Albania up to 35 years of age. As of 2018, the Ardhje Award is organized and managed by ZETA.

 

BOARD

Valentina Koça, Executive Director; Zef Paci, art historian & curator; Edi Hila, painter; Stefan Çapaliku, playwright; Sadik Spahia, sculptor; Matilda Odobashi, visual artist; Gjergj Pervazi, choreographer; Blerina Muça, painter; Ana Bytyci, staff member; Enkeleda Stefani, accountant.

footnote -centre for image and text is an independent artist-run studio in Belgrade, Serbia

It is a space dedicated to experimentation, research and production in the field of visual arts and publishing. Our focus is on different and informal educational formats and collaborations between individual art workers, artist collectives and cultural institutions. We offer a space and support for development of projects related to photography, moving image, visual essays, books, installation and other mixed-media. The facilitators at Footnote Centre have a combined experience in teaching at international art institutions and are committed to pursuing new models for creative studies based on critical insights, in-depth research and a genuine curiosity about the working of ideas, words and images.

Space

Footnote centre is located in the historical part of Belgrade, near Slavija square. It is situated in a large salon apartment of 100 sqm, consisting of a private (residential) room, studio with a library, kitchen, two bathrooms and a balcony. The centre provides a space to work, learn, contemplate, experiment and showcase the residency outcomes or work in progress. At residents’ disposal are desk spaces and an area for presentations/talks, temporary exhibitions and screenings. The space is covered with a fast Wi-Fi, and has all the essential facilities. Our centre provides professional guidance and PR support (photo/video documentation, announcements, social media campaigns).

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