The Tastes of Pidzamche

Olha Kotska and Anna Khvyl update us on progress:

From the middle of August at Iota Initiative for our project we are starting weekly meetings focused on Pidzamche cuisine. We’ve agreed with residents that for every time some of them will prepare a special or very usual dish. Then during meetings we will talk about stories connected to food and neighborhood traditions. Also we will think over menu for the festival. We’ll collect best recipes and include them into the final publication, so you also will have chance to taste Pidzamche wherever you are!


Looking ahead, on 26th and 27th of August, professional and amateur artists will come together with Pidzamche residents to design the location of the Festival – the courtyard of the School №20, one of the oldest school in Lviv. Director of the school, Natalia Andrijivna, warmly welcomed us and confirmed that this space is already used by a lot of residents as open public space. Young mothers come with their children, teenagers spend here spare time, some neighbours even organise picnics here.

The program of 2-day workshops in decoration is very diverse. Nata Mysak, young architect from Urban Movement “Lypneva” will help to organize the space with different zones (workshop, music, screenings, etc.). Nikita Viska and his colleagues will lead the street-art workshop for teenagers. Together they will prepare stencils, to decorate during the festival one of the courtyard’s walls. Pidzamche residents, Olha and Tetiana, volunteered to organise the workshop of making garlands in different shapes and forms. Last but not the least, Katia Pankiv from Art Studio “Zhovti Nozhytsi” will help us to prepare hand-made invitation to the Festival for our VIP guests and participants.

Then, on the 30th-31st of August, in cooperation with the International Documentary Human Rights Film Festival DOCUDAYS UA there will be an open air film screenings organized. For the first day Pidzamche residents and other lvivians will have chance to watch “A Diary of a Journey” by Polish film director Piotr Stasik and Ukrainian documentary series “New Heroes” by Roman Bondarchuk. The second day screening will show “Euromaidan – The Rough Cut”, documentary shorts series based on last winter events in Ukraine.

And, finally, here you will find our co-ordinators making a video invitation for musicians, artists and residents to take part in the preparations for the First Pidzamche Neighborhood Festival!

Fifth Lecture from Dzestra

The fifth lecture of our series of ‘Dzestra Talks‘ took place on the 16th of August at the Sweet Art Gallery. The lecturers, Nadiya Parfan and Illia Gladshtein joined us from Kyiv, although Nadiya is originally from Ivano-Frankivsk. Nadiya is a researcher of culture, urbanist and feminist. Together with Illia she has been involved with organising a festival of cinema and urbanism in April this year. She has also been working on some of the biggest movie festivals in Kyiv over the past few years.

Nadiya and Illia came to tell us how to conduct a festival and not to fail. They started from presenting their own experience with the “86” festival, which was the first one which they implemented on their own. They told about their negotiations with the municipal authorities of Slavutych –  which is a very special city, built after Chornobyl to inhabit people from Chornobyl there. It was devised by architects from different Soviet Republics at that time, which is why there are Armenian or Latvian districts that resemble the architecture of these countries. The festival was thematically connected to the topics of city planning and energetics, which was emphasised by the place and time of the festival – it was conducted during the time of Chornobyl commemoration.

Nadiya and Illia also shared their ideas about how many people should work for a festival, what their roles should be and how to built a productive and horizontal system of administration.

There were approximately 40 people present at the lecture; they were either visitors of different festivals or the ones who are conducting some festivals on their own.

You can view the full presentation here (in Ukrainian): 


Dzestra Talks continues…


The fourth lecture of Dzestra Talks programme took place on the 31st July at the editorial office of the “Bukovyna” newspaper, as our speaker Kateryna Botanova arrived form Kyiv. She is a well-known curator, the head of the Foundation “Centre of the Modern Art” (CSM) and editor of the “Korydor” platform.

The subject of her lecture was “Culture activists: who they are and what can they do for the city”. Kateryna shared her experience of fulfilling cultural projects in Kyiv, which were dealing with public space, art, activism and engagement. According to Kateryna, ‘engagement art’ is the most effective form of activism, when speaking about cultural management in Ukraine. One of the Chernivtsi artists present at the lecture, Anatol Fedirko commented that for him this is ‘the desacralisation of art’, and Kateryna answered that ‘this is exactly what they try to do’.

There were approximately 50 people present at the lecture — so it was the most popularly attended ones. For the first time amongst our audience there were some officials and a lot of adult workers of cultural institutions.

A record of her presentation can be viewed on Youtube here and some press coverage can be viewed here..

There’s also ongoing comprehensive photo-documentation on flickr here…

Editorial note: the debate about whether ‘community art’, ‘engaged art’, ‘socially engaged practice’ is ‘real art’ has been a contested arena for a number of decades. There’s a very interesting book called ‘The Re-enchantment of Art’ by Suzi Gablik which addresses this. Written over 20 years ago, she describes her hope for a new art, born out of a new cultural paradigm which embraces both a sense of community (along with an enlarged ecological perspective) as well as mythic and archetypal sources of spiritual life.  You’ll find an excerpt here: