"Letter to a Turtledove".
Films by artists from Ukraine

// Movie night
Thu, 19 May 2022, 6 pm
Bauhaus Museum Dessau

In solidarity with the people in Ukraine, the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation organises a movie night with films by Ukrainian artists. The films will be introduced by the Ukrainian artist and filmmaker Dana Kavelina. Afterwards she talks with Torsten Blume (Bauhaus Dessau Foundation) about her own cinematic work. Admission is free. However, a fundraising event will be organised. The proceeds will be donated to medical and humanitarian aid in Ukraine and to support people displaced by the consequences of the war.

Each film in the programme addresses a different fragment of life, a different space, where violence and the ways of dealing with its consequences reverberate. These spaces can be domestic and public, a shared history and a personal memory, mental spaces and landscapes. Authors highlight issues of the society that, on the one hand, had an open war zone on the eastern side since 2014, and on the other, has been reworking the positions towards its history and political alignments. 

A solidarity film programme by a peer-to-peer network of artists living in Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and Europe – initiated by Mikhail Lylov.


A letter to Turtledove
>> Dana Kavelina, Ukraine 2020, 20 min, OVP + english subtitles
In her film, Dana Kavelina, juxtaposes historical footage of coal mining in Donbas region with her own graphic work, poetry and found footage of the Russian military invasion into Donetsk and Luhansk in 2014. The film constructs an argument for a tragic intimacy between the body of earth and human subjectivity, it shows a continuity existing between extractivism and militarism. Kave-lina's film-poem is not a plea for peace, but for love, which cannot be realized without the body that has been taken away and torn apart by war.

So They Won't Say We Don't Remember
>> Yarema Malashchuk and Roman Himey, Ukraine 2020, 24 min, No Dialog
The video work is about both hidden and visible elements of the post-industrial landscape of Donbas. In the film, locals, artists, and curators traverse the surface following one of the under-ground routes of the Novator mine. The ending point of the procession is the monument to the dead miners located just above the site of the underground accident, which led to the death of the workers and the subsequent closure of the mine in 1977. During the procession, people walk through the city, plowed fields and bushes connecting the ground and the underground space where soil and people are intertwined in the inextricably linked choreography of the common.

In Memory of Antonina Nikolayevna on Lost Love
>> Oleksandr Steshenko, Kateryna Libkind, Roman Himey, Yarema Malash-chuk, Pavlo Yurov, Ukraine 2018, 30 min, OVP + english subtitles
The film is based on a screenplay written by Olexandr Steshenko – a person with Down syn-drome and a big admirer of soap-opera genre. With a support of artists and filmmakers, one of his scripts was filmed. The story presents an estranged, yet affective, view on love drama, which escalates into revenge and domestic violence by conventions of a “normal” society. (Film con-tains instances of extreme lexic).

>> Mykola Ridnyi, Ukraine 2017, 22 min, OVP + english subtitles
The main protagonists/heroes of the film are young people from Kharkiv, a city located in the Eastern part of Ukraine. Reaching their early twenties coincided with the breakout of the war in the neighbouring region of Donbass. A LGBT activist and poet, a fashion model, a group of street artists, a computer game programmer – all of them are artists or working in the creative indus-tries, typical for a peaceful life of a big city. However, the proximity to the war effects each of the characters and their activities. The protagonists react and reflect the political events through their specific relationships with the urban space and the reality of the social media.

The Artist

Dana Kavelina (born 1995) is an artist and filmmaker working primarily with the mythical, propagated elements of industry, orthodoxy, war and the environment. She works with animation, film, text, graphics and installation. She was born in Melitopol and lives in Kiev, Ukraine. She is a graduate of the Department of Graphic Arts at the National Technical University of Ukraine (Kiev). Her works have been exhibited at the Kmytiv Museum (Kmytiv), the Closer Art Center (Kiev), the Voloshyn Gallery (Kiev) and the Haus der Kunst München, among others. Her film Letter to a Turtledove (2020) was included in the programme War and Cinema curated by Oleksiy Radynski for e-flux. She has received awards from the Odesa International Film Festival and the KROK International Animation Film Festival. She is currently Artist in Residence at the Centre for Art and Media (ZKM) Karlsruhe.