The story of the festival idea begins in the small bar called Makulatura in Tbilisi, Georgia. In a true psychogeographic spirit, the place appeared to bizarrely connect two fans of derivé – Yuliia Kulish, a literary scholar from Ukraine, and Jacek Slaski, a cultural journalist from Germany. An extraordinary coincidence, supplemented by the topicality of psychogeography, left us no choice but to organize an event that would unify contemporary devotees of this magnetic field.
Why Kyiv, why Berlin?
A western-European prosperous metropolis, seeking to amend its past, a decisive political player, captured in its stability and progressive statics, a home for thousands of migrants – on the one hand. An eastern-European dynamic capital, repeatedly fighting to preserve its past, a crossroads of history, a home for subversive thought – on the other. What can they say to one another?
Distant in terms of socio-economic and cultural contexts, the two capitals appear to be facing the same problem of monstrous urbanism at present. Today the internals of these cities are filled with bland standardized architecture, and the unstable rents detract from legal security. The general dissociation with the city surroundings questions the notion of safety for its residents, especially vulnerable groups, not to mention the threats brought by the recent war.
However, we believe the destructive effects may be traced, the technological utopia may be mediated, and the aesthetical course may be maneuvered. By raising the issue of reclaiming the streets, we may challenge the way we relate to city history and its social, cultural, and economic orders.
In the course of an independent festival, supported by Hauptstadtkulturfonds, Ukrainian and German experts from the fields of city history and urban planning, cultural studies, photography, and performative arts intend to create a space in which bordering discourses can intertwine.
in partnership with
dérive – Association for Urban Research, founded in Vienna in 2000, sees itself as an international urban research platform at the interface of science, art and activism and as an initiative for the realization of an urban society. The aim of the association is to convey socially relevant questions about urban space using the means and methods of science and art.
The main focus of the dérive summer issue on Ukraine brings architectural and urban history articles on Kyiv and Kharkiv as well as on the role that self-organization has played in Ukrainian society since the Euromaidan. Timothy Snyder provides an insight into the thoughts of the fascist Russian philosopher Ivan Ilyin, who died in 1954 and whom Vladimir Putin admires and likes to quote. Other topics in this issue include right-hand spatial planning by the organizers of Coronademos, using the example of the Saxon city of Freiberg and an interview with the art initiative New Clients.