Platform TU Residencies
Platform TU's mission is promoting human rights, freedoms, and critical thinking through grassroots cultural initiatives and modern arts. Activities include organizing and curating art events: art residencies, exhibitions, concerts, book presentations, performances, film screenings, and smart events: discussions, lectures, researches, open talks. Existing projects include a series of residencies: “Z.mist” combines research and art, “Woven network” explores invisible womens’ work through creative responses of European female artists, “Decom” is aimed to reflect on the decommunization process in Ukraine and memory.
A wide range of themes, including memory and commemoration practices, inclusivity, discrimination, critical thinking, human rights and freedoms, decommunization, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, violence and radicalism, local identities, right to the public space, gender issues, paternalism are addressed within the organization.
Platform TU has experience in organizing and curating its own art residencies in Mariupol for Ukrainian artists, co-curated by filmmaker and researcher Sasha Protyah: “Z.mist” in 2017 and “Z.mist: Identity” in 2018. In 2017, the residency welcomed 10 artists for 10 days, while in 2018 it lasted 20 days with 13 artists. Residents were chosen through an open call among about 100 applicants with the help of an invited independent jury consisting of art experts, artists, cultural managers, and curators from Ukraine and Europe.
The focus of every residency is researching and reflecting on the multiple identities of Mariupol, from industry, ecology and post-communism to war, patriotism, and radicalism. Artists from a vast range of media, from street art and experimental music, to photography and media art gather around these themes. Alexey Salmanov, Daniil Galkin, Alina Yakubenko, Ksenia Hnylytska, Valentina Petrova, Volodymyr Kuznetsov, AntiGonna, Serhiy Sommer, and other established and emerging artists have been hosted.
Every time the residency program has included research tours, connecting events with community, getting acquainted with local context, visiting local institutions – from museums to metal steel plants, and other events. Also, during the residency, invited experts held presentations of their works, and every participant had an artist talk in Platform TU. Residents were free to use the space and equipment of our platform as well as our volunteers as personal guides. Every event was open to the public. As a result, we have had the final presentation and the opening of the exhibition in Platform TU.
When physical mobility of artists became drastically constrained in 2020, “Woven network” , a virtual international art residency has been curated and organized. It is a 6-month virtual art residence for female artists from five European countries across 3 time zones exploring the theme of invisible work and reinventing the hierarchic digital web to a real horizontal network. It explores and reevaluates new opportunities for artistic expression and cross-border collaboration and the use of digital tools, materials, and the practice of distanced collaboration through the creative work of three female artists from Ukraine and four from Sweden, Scotland, Poland, and England. The project has started in July 2020.
The expected results of the residency directly depend on the project and the partners who support it. Typically, the results of the visit include the opening of exhibitions of participants' works or the presentation of their ideas. During the residency period, a parallel educational program continues, where participants can conduct artist-talks, workshops or other activities of their choice.
We have a multifunctional space in the historical center of Mariupol, a 2-floor 250 square meters building, with a basement that can be used as additional workshops. During the residencies, the space was used as both production studio, workshop, and lecture space, and a filming site. It is equipped with a large screen, powerful beamer, computers, modern sound equipment, stage, and the separate mezzanine gallery floor for exhibitions. Disciplines include visual arts, sound and multimedia art.
During the residences, hostel or dormitory in the city center is booked. These are usually rooms for 2 to 4 people, common areas, kitchen and bathrooms. Maximum 10 residents can be hosted at once. So far, only individuals and duo's were hosted but the organization is open to working with groups. It is possible to arrange a visit with family members and/or partners if the organization is notified in advance.
Office printer, 2 projectors, large screen and small mobile screen, set of lights and sound equipment, DJ controller, microphones, mobile sound for the street (speaker + microphone), webcams, laptop.
The organisation has a strong partnership with local museums and libraries, hence there is access to local archives for our residents. Also, tours to industrial spaces – metal steel factories, port, Azov shipyard are organized regularly. A committed network of volunteers, local partners and cultural institutions, local historians, activists and ethnographers are involved. Besides, the police, volunteer organizations, and military structures are accessible.
The organization has a partner network of hotels, catering services, local media, and others.
Mariupol is the easternmost point of Ukraine – an industrial city on the Azov sea close to the war with Russia and occupied territories.
Mariupol, an industrial city 15 km from the military frontline, has become a red spot on the map of Ukraine for recent years. It is the monocity of heavy industry (two metal plants, Azovstal and Illycha), situated on the Azov Sea, with a vivid 240-years history and multicultural background. It is a multilayered place with post-Soviet conservative mentality and at the same time with a very proactive community ready for changes.
Population is about 500 000, with around 15% being IDPs (internally displaced people from occupied territories). There are multiple villages on the Azov Sea around the city, having a great potential on researching the story of post-Soviet heritage. Mariupol embodies the concentration of cultural heritage: monumental art and mosaics of the 1960s, big diaspora of Crimean Greeks, and unique architecture. The city is safe and the social-political situation is stable, and Mariupol attracts urbanists, artists, researchers and filmmakers from all over the world with its atmospheric industrial aesthetics.
Tension in the region is still high, and unfortunately, the political conflict will remain for years, affecting first of all vulnerable groups like IDPs. However, despite the overall political and military pressure, the local community has shown the readiness for the dialogue, for changes, for cultural boost.