Feminine Futures : Ukraine War | Oppression | Dystopia

Feminine Futures : Ukraine War | Oppression | Dystopia

Curated by Adrien Sina
Fri 03 Feb 2023   -  Sun 26 Mar 2023
12 - 6pm Wednesday - Sunday
_ Venue: War Memorial Library

Contemporary Dance & Experimental Film

Feminine Futures: Ukraine

War | Oppression | Dystopia

Dances of resilience on tragic, atemporal or devastated sites

curated by Adrien Sina

Short films, part of Konstantin Koval’s UPROOTED 2 project

War | Oppression | Dystopia was first curated by Adrien Sina in 2020 as a contemporary section of his Feminine Futures exhibitions, anticipating future tragedies. It has acquired a dramatic urgency with Russia’s inhumane aggression towards Ukraine. Premonitory dances in devastated environments, intersubjective dynamics affected by unexpected dangers, dances of love, tolerance, resistance and resilience, were complemented by dances performed in the midst of destruction of war, leading to a vertiginous level of emotion and abstraction.

Konstantin Koval is the talented Ukrainian dancer and choreographer who with Andzej Gavriss and Rick Dodds conceived the short film UPROOTED for the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. Released in June 2022, in the heat of the early waves of war, it unfolded the urgent necessity of supporting, following and bringing to light the deeply poignant creativity of contemporary Ukrainian dance scene. 

The visual impact of UPROOTED 2, his new set of unreleased short films resides in the sense of an abstract environment, a dance in between spaces, sites or architectures, between somewherness and nowherness, depicting new ways of creating roots in uncanny environments. The ultimate emotional and historical witnesses are here performances on cultural heritage sites or architectures damaged or destroyed by the Russian aggression.

Of the Ukrainian choreographers and dancers selected – Liza Riabinina, Olya Shevchuk, Olena Meshcheriakova, Alina Kobilyak, Dmitriy Pristash, Dmitriy Kravchenko, Gelya Andryushina, Nikita Dudkin, Anton Obukhovskiy, Alyona Stoliarova, Zhenya Goncharenko, Artyom Spitfire – many have chosen to remain in Ukraine enduring missile attacks on civilians, some are journeying among us.

This film installation at the Summerhall War Memorial Gallery, Edinburgh, will be in resonance with ‘Feminine Futures: Ukraine. War | Oppression | Dystopia, Ukraine’, lecture and screening events curated by Adrien Sina at the National Museum of Modern Art – Pompidou Centre in Paris, 27 January and at The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, 17 February 2023.

War | Oppression | Dystopia

Ukraine: Historical Fresco – Freedom Fighter Ancestors

Curated by Adrien Sina

Short films, by Leonid Kolosovskyi, part of Konstantin Koval’s UPROOTED 2 project

Searching for strength and ethics of resistance deep in the collective memory, this powerful historical fresco ‘shows us portraits of Ukrainian Ancestors who bless us to fight against darkness. Each portrait displays a certain tragic moment in Ukrainian history related to Russian aggression. We will see our ancestors talking to us, the descendants, reminding us about these historical events, the price of Freedom and our contribution to the achievement of independence.’ Allegorical and historical figures are re-enacted with an impressive dramatic intensity, dating back to the Ukrainian Galician Army fighting for independence against Poland in 1918-19 and against the Bolsheviks in 1920, after the collapse of Russian and Austrian empires. Images of past and present resonate so accurately today, as the cruelty of history repeats itself.


War | Oppression | Dystopia

Ukraine: War Crime Memorial

Fragmented Portable Monument, Adrien Sina

War Crime Memorial was conceived by Adrien Sina on 22 April 2022, shortly after Russian aggression towards Ukraine as a war diary performance and installation just in front of the banned Russian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. It was presented on 11 June 2022 in his talk on Feminine Futures, early 20th-century history of artists’ war diaries and artists’ replies to war and oppression, at the Venice Biennale – Meetings on Art.

This temporary portable monument was a conceptual displacement made of 20 military ammunition crates filled with the rubble and debris from Ukraine’s destroyed cities attacked by Russian weapons. They were collected evidence of Russian war crimes and massacres, a tragic demonstration of what innocent civilians had and still have to undergo. The sides of the crates were marked in military stencil font with the name of the targeted cities: Bucha, Kramatorsk, Mariupol, Kharkiv, Mykolaiv, Kherson, Donetsk, Luhansk, Izyum, Dnipro, Zaporizhzhya, Chernihiv, Sumy, Borodzianka… 

During the performance session, the names of these destroyed cities would be declaimed alongside quotes from war diaries by Ukrainian intellectuals, artists or bloggers. Fragments of rubble would be respectfully spread out within the ammunition crates. Blue and yellow flowers laid around the memorial and a minute of silence is observed.