Crimea at Low Tide

n March 2019, the Ukrainian Crimean peninsula will enter into its sixth year of annexation by Russia following an illegal illegitimate referendum.

The process of “reunification” with Russia is still underway, and it is full of absurd and sad stories. How did life of people who decided to stay in Crimea, or were forced to leave, change? Almost everybody who refuses to accept the change, regardless origin or position, is haunted by loss of home, separation from family and loved ones, police and judiciary abuse or imprisonment. This exhibition reflects how history is being rewritten as a means of manipulation and enforcing one’s own views.
What is real life, and what is a mere illusion created by the media and our own imagination? And is there a way out?

Visitors of the exhibition need to keep in mind that currently access to Crimea may be limited, and before they enter the exhibition, they might have to undergo a check and an interview.

Artists: Maria Kulikovska, Vitaly Fomenko, Sofia Tocar, Anton Naumliuk
Curator: Sofia Tocar
Organizer: Člověk v tísni
Partners: The Artivist Lab, Kampus Hybernská

Maria Kulikovska is a visual artist and a curator involved in performative art and body art. She comes from Kerch in Crimea, where she cannot return following the annexation of the peninsula in 2014. She currently lives and works in Kiev.
Her body is like a language which she uses to speak about changes and losses each of us will experience in our lifetime. An inflatable boat is one of the symbols she uses to express inability to return home – the boat is drifting further away from the Crimean shore and becomes a place of survival…

Vitaly Fomenko is a visual artist and a documentary photographer who employs various techniques, including collage. He often uses photographic material he discovers to process and exhibit as series of photographs or photobooks. Loss of home has become one of his key themes together with Crimea and its subsequent transformation. He currently works and lives in Kiev.

Sofia Tocar studied art history at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University. Her studies were also focused on contemporary textile art. She pursues her interest in embroidery by working as an artist and an organizer, using her craft techniques to open up such themes as female labour, corporeality and related taboos. She initiates this art dialogue in the context of relationships between the Central and the Eastern Europe.

Anton Naumliuk is a Russian journalist and a photographer working in Crimea to map the current political situation and society. His professional interest is centered around the position of Crimean Tatars and political trials of people who oppose annexation of Crimea. “In today’s Europe, it is impossible to load the whole nation on a train and deport it somewhere to Ural. But you can do something else – you can create conditions where representatives of a nation whose allegiance does not lie with the current Crimean government will be forced to abandon their homes and life and leave the peninsula to retain their freedom or merely survive. This is hybrid deportation”, says Anton Naumliuk.

Crimean artists Maria Kulikovska and Vitaly Fomenko will personally attend the vernissage of the exhibition which will be preceded by presentation of both artists.

Parralel events:

Monday, 18 March
Artist presentation – Maria Kulikovska and Vitalij Fomenko, Kampus Hybernská bar,
Exhibition vernissage in The Artivist Lab gallery and performance in front of Kampus Hybernská gate

Tuesday, 19 March
Screening of documentary Putin’s Hostages: Political Prisoners of the Kremlin followed by debate Crimea, Five Years Later (Kampus Hybernská bar)
The debate will be in English and in Russian.

Tuesday, 2 April, 18:00
Presentation and discussion with Alexandr Morozov (political scientist) and Marek Příhoda (historian and Russianist)
Boris Nemtsov Academic Centre for the Study of Russia, Faculty of Arts, Charles University