About the project

The Project

The project is funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and includes

  • a seminar organized as a collaboration between the students group of Dr. Susanne Frank (Professor at the Humboldt University Berlin) and the students group of Dr. Onena Haleta (Professor at the Ivan Franko National University L’viv)
  • an international student workshop at the Ivan Franko National University L’viv in which students and professors of both groups meet
  • mutual study tours in which the German group visits L’viv and Kyiv, and the Ukrainian group visits Berlin. The visit to Berlin is organized by Dr. Chrystyna Nazarkevych.

Aims of the project:

  1. Analyze how the Maidan protest movement and later the war in the Donbass region were represented in local art and aesthetic practices. Investigate whether they also had the potential to intervene and reflect about the events rather than just representing them.
  2. Analyze the subsequent strategies of musealization and transformation of the events into cultural memory. Ant to deconstruct if this lays the ground for a new cultural identity.
  3. Comparison of contemporary strategies of memory-building and musealization in Ukraine with the memory culture and politics reflecting important historical events like WW II, the Holocaust or the Berlin Wall.

Project schedule

Winter Semester 2014/ 2015            Seminar at I.F. National University L’viv (O. Haleta)

Summer Semester 2015                   Seminar at Humboldt University (S. Frank and O. Haleta)

5 / 2015                                               International Student Workshop at I.F. National University L’viv                                    Study trip of the Humboldt group to Ukraine (L’viv & Kyiv)

11 / 2015                                             Visit of the Ivan Franko group to Berlin

Central Questions

  1. for the Ukrainian part of the project
  • How did the crisis and the rapid succession of events influence the artists? Did they deprive the authors and artists of their previous language? Are there indications that the artist pursue a quest for a new language?
  • Are the lack of language and the search for new ways of aesthetic expression a topic in art and literature?
  • What is the goal of new forms and ways of expression? Do they aim at impressing or educating the recipients or interact with them? Do new works of art want to campaign or mobilize? Or do they intend to reflect about the events and / or elicit resistance against violence?
  • How important are older approaches in literature and the arts for the current political activism? Could the Avantgarde with its branches of the 20th century and its concepts of the Political and the Partisan (situationism) be used as a reference point?
  • What new genres have been developed in response to the recent events? What genres have reappeared in the context of war?
  • What means of intervention or of empowering / reinforcing the agency of art and literature can be observed?
  • Which forms of art are currently present in Ukraine? Is there a dominant art form? Which art forms are particularly popular? (Street art, Performance, mobile partisan-like art forms, artistic and journalistic reports)
  • Who are the aesthetic agents? Oder: What is the difference between the actual artists and the other participants in terms of emotion/politics?
  • How does the new media influence the role of art and aesthetics in the context of the protest movements?
  • How do artists deal with bilingualism in the context of the protest movements? What role do the competing two languages, Russian and Ukrainian, play in the official politics on the Maidan? Is language a contentious issue or do politicians refrain from bringing up the symbolic differences of the two languages in the current situation?
  • How is the language factor dealt with in literature? Is language interpreted as an indication of cultural affiliation? How does the part of Ukrainian literature which is written in Russian language reflect the fact that during the war Russian has become the language of the enemy?
  • Which historical and historicizing narratives were developed and modified in the context of protest, conflict and war? What symbolic and narrative strategies of modeling discontinuity, conclusion and       new beginning can be found?       Are these strategies different from the historical narratives which were predominantly used in the literature of the last 20 years?
  • Which strategies of memory politics and memory building do the participants and eyewitnesses use in archiving, commenting and musealization of the art of the Maidan one year after the protests?
  1. for the Berlin part of the project

Seminarprogramm und Info (PDF)

Ziele und Ablauf

In Auseinandersetzung mit Materialien aus der Literatur und Kunst (werden im Vorfeld bereits zur Verfügung gestellt) erarbeiten die Studierenden Thesen, die sie dann zu kleinen Vorträgen im Rahmen eines studentischen Workshops in L’viv vortragen. Der zweite Teil des Studienprojekts ist für das WS 2015/16 (November/Dezember) geplant. Er ist der Erforschung und Analyse künstlerischer Reaktionen auf einschneidende politische Ereignisse in Berlin gewidmet sowie der mithilfe von Kunstwerken und musealen Einrichtungen betriebenen Gedächtnispolitik im urbanen Raum. In Zusammenarbeit mit Dr. Chrystyna Nazarkevych und Prof. Olena Haleta bereiten die Berliner Studierenden die Exkursion und den Workshop der ukrainischen Kommilitonen in Berlin vor und führen ihn gemeinsam mit diesen durch.