Ukrainian Dispatch
Solidarity as Cultural Praxis during Wartime

Vasyl Cherepanyn, Nikita Kadan, Maria Isserlis, Marina Naprushkina, Clemens von Wedemeyer

Moderation: Jörg Heiser 

To see the recording of the panel please visit bbk's YouTube-Channel. To download the mentioned ways of supporting artists and museums in Ukraine click here (in German only).

bbk berlin, CCA Berlin, and Neue Nachbarschaft/Moabit are inviting to the panel discussion "Ukrainian Dispatch – Solidarity as Cultural Praxis during Wartime".

Nothing remains the same as it was before February 24, 2022, when Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian army to start a full-on invasion of Ukraine. For the past two weeks, we’ve witnessed the continuous shelling of civilian targets including hospitals and museums. Many people have died, at the time of writing, the number of refugees has reached over two million. The ramifications of this ongoing war are as of yet unclear; but the need to extend our solidarity to those affected by it is glaringly obvious.

Against that background, we want to emphasize: let’s listen to the ones who are directly affected. In regard to what the cultural scene and the art world can do beyond symbolic gestures – what can be done to save lives and provide immediate assistance, but also to support the cultural and civil society sector beyond the usual institutional crisis voyeurism?

It is also our responsibility to ask ourselves – especially in Germany: How could it happen that for far too long the art world has been willingly turning a blind eye to dubious financers and “partners” – from regime-associated oligarchs running art foundations to Putin himself becoming the patron of a travelling show called “Diversity United” largely financed by the German foreign ministry? And what of the “Kunsthalle Berlin” being established at Tempelhof Airport, financed through a Gazprom and Nord Stream 2 network, and condoned if not actively promoted by Berlin’s political functionaries and the German state?

Can we divert the resources wasted to artwash Germany ́s misguided fossil energy ventures to those who really need it now – namely artists and cultural workers from and in Ukraine, but also oppositional voices that have already gone or are about to go into exile from Russia and Belarus?

How can we help establish sustainable support for those now fleeing, but also for cultural infrastructures that are now in shatters? And how can we counter discriminatory, racist tendencies both in the way refugees – especially those of color – are currently treated,
as well as a growing Russophobia not least directed, tragically, against those who flee the country because they dared to dissent and are now under persecution? How can we unite solidarity instead of letting efforts be divided by narrowly conditioned reflexes and divisive forms of empathy?

Panelists / Speakers:

-Vasyl Cherepanyn (Direktor des Visual Culture Research Center VCRC, Kiew)
-Nikita Kadan (Künstler) 
-Maria Isserlis (Kuratorin)
-Marina Naprushkina (Künstlerin, Gründerin der Neuen Nachbarschaft/Moabit) 
-Clemens von Wedemeyer (Künstler)  


–Jörg Heiser (art critic and curator, University for the Arts Berlin)

We would like to support the work of Each One Teach One (EOTO) e.V., a community-based education and empowerment project in Berlin, and are collecting donations locally to actively support their work.

The panel will be held in English.

A visit to CCA’s public program events is only possible with proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or recovery plus a booster vaccination or an additional negative test (2G+ rule). A corresponding certificate will be checked before admission.

Ukrainian Dispatch, panel discussion bbk Berlin, documentation, CCA Berlin, 2022. Photos: Loup Deflandre