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Visos naujienos

Presentation of Lithuanian culture in Ukraine in the spring crowned by running men and a gust of Baltic fashion

choreografija beganciam patinui

On May 13th-14th, a second journey began for Lithuanian and Ukrainian illustrators at the Lvov Children’s Festival. This time, the “caravan” of creative, artistic workshops for children travelled through the Western part of the country, from Lvov to Rozhniativ, Ivano-Frankivsk and Ternopil. For the end of the spring stage of the Lithuania-Ukraine: Cultural Partnership 2016 project (coordinated by the Lithuanian Culture Institute), the project featured a performance in the streets of Kiev called Choreografija Bėgančiam Patinui by famous Lithuanian contemporary artist Eglė Budvytytė on May 18th, meetings with architect Elena Archipovaitė at the CANactions international architecture festival in the capital of Ukraine on May 19th and 20th, and the opening of a Baltic fashion design exhibition called N WIND SHOWCASE: BALTIC on May 19th in Kiev.

Illustrators’ workshops as a creative antidote

 The first creative illustrators’ workshop tour was held in April in Zaporozhye, Kryvyi Rih, Dnepropetrovsk and Kiev with artists Ieva Babilaitė and Paulius Juodišius, theatrical director Saulė Degutytė, and their colleagues from Ukraine, Natalia Gaida and Hanna Zviaginceva. The second tour was joined by artists Julija Pilipčatina and Dmitro Kuzmenko. All of the workshop processes were filmed by Ukrainian director Katerina Mizina, who will create a documentary film about the travelling artists’ experiences.

Rūta Mėlynė, the Lithuanian Culture Institute’s project coordinator, said that volunteers were happy to spend time taking the illustrators through some of their cities’ more commonly visited locations. “We heard various retellings of Ukrainian history and its current problems. We also spoke much about Lithuania, which has currently become a guiding star and positive example for Ukraine,” said Mėlynė.

 Over the three hours of the workshop, children created stories with the help of professional artists. At first, they created smaller elements and connected them into meaningful stories. Then, they drew, coloured, tore paper, and made costumes and musical instruments to bring their stories to a large shadow stage with the help of an object theatre director.

The Lithuanian and Ukrainian artists worked as a harmonious team whose members understood each other without words using mimicry and hand gestures – despite the fact that many at the table did not know each other.

“In these creative workshops, it was like a new association of Lithuanian and Ukrainian artists was born. It included seven illustrators from Ukraine, three from Lithuania, several theatre and film specialists, journalists, and cultural event coordinators. These people were united by their concern for children’s lives and their futures, especially for those children whose lives were in danger due to adults’ mistakes. The purpose of the workshops was to ‘infect’ everyone participating in the workshops with a healing creative virus so that it would work like an antidote in each person’s body, strengthening their resistance to the misfortunes of life,” said Mėlynė.

Fashion design and the identities of men and cities

The Choreografija Bėgančiam Patinui performance by artist Eglė Budvytytė was created for the 11th Baltic international art triennial in Vilnius and was later adopted for the Sydney biennial. Over the weekend, it was also entered into a participants’ selection as well. Budvytytė’s performance was included in the “Identity. Behind a Courtain of Uncertainty” international contemporary art exhibition of Baltic and Northern countries (the exhibition was organized by the Latvian Contemporary Art Centre and the National Museum of Ukraine).

In her work, Budvytytė combines film, dance, architecture and video art. She underscored the improvisational aspect of her work as well as the importance of participation: “I am interested in the strangest and most unexpected things that happen when the body begins acting in public in ways contrary to what is dictated by various conventions, like behavioural schemes or unwritten social norms. When performing Choreografija Bėgančiam Patinui, it’s interesting to force viewers to feel uncomfortably, like a passing procession of Krishnaists. The ‘fleeing males’ are struck by a male identity crisis because the old codes of ‘machismo’ no longer work. They run and hide from their old identities, from the old system, and at the same time embody the signs, movements and gestures of new identities, which we do not see as male or female, but something in between,” the artist said.

Since 2008, the CANactions architectural festival in Kiev has been the largest contemporary Ukrainian architecture event. Its goal is to bring together society and the professional community,  integrate the country’s architecture into a global context, create a platform for exchanging ideas, and support the implementation of contemporary aesthetic trends. The festival’s theme this year was Resilient Architecture, and it was curated by famous Dutch architect and urbanist Theo Hauben.

From May 9th until the 21st, architect and urbanism specialist Elena Archipovaitė ran a creative workshop at the CANactions festival about giving meaning to the Ivan Honchar museum (the location of the workshop) in Kiev and the functionality of Kiev’s public spaces. Archipovaitė also delivered a lecture called The Policy of Space: Empowering Citizens in the Planning of Space.

A showcase of Baltic fashion began on May 19th in Kiev. The N WIND SHOWCASE: BALTIC project is presenting 12 active Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian clothing, shoe and accessory designers and brands: D.Efect (Lithuania, Agnė Kuzmickaitė (Lithuania), Formuniform (Lithuania), Keta Gutmane (Latvia), Mareunrol‘s (Latvia), Blank Blank (Latvia), Reet Aus (Estonia), Anchovy (Lithuania), Okiiko (Lithuania), June 19 (Lithuania), MIESAI (Latvia), Elina Dobele (Latvia).

In Autumn, the Lithuania-Ukraine: Cultural Partnership 2016 project will begin its second stage, which will highlight the performing arts. The Gogolfest interdisciplinary art festival in Kiev will feature Oskaras Koršunovas’ theatrical performances, the Geros Dienos (Operomanija) contemporary opera, the Arts Printing House’s Feel-link street dance performance, the Dansema dance-theatre’s performances, and others. In the autumn, Lithuanian composers will perform their classical and contemporary musical compositions in Ukraine, and various exhibitions will also be held.