DescriptionJune 24 — July 2, 2019, as part of the project (Mono)town, the Donbas Studies project is launching the Summer School 2019, a school for young researchers and artists with a particular focus on the cultural potential of the communities of monofunctional cities of the Donbas, namely, in Sieverodonetsk, Lysychansk and Rubizhne. The main themes are the (mono)town, the revitalisation of (post)industrial spaces, cultural and creative practices for building communities, cultural memory, cultural studies, the transformation of public spaces and sustainable urban ecosystems. “The plant gave me everything: it gave me a flat, and a life, my kids are working, the lads, doing no worse than their father. So I have something to be proud of” — one character says in the film In the East (directed by Piotr Armianovski; 2015). The city around the plant, the city beyond the plant. What is a monotown; how does а city-forming enterprise affect the life of the community and its ideas of the past and future? Deindustrialisation and conflict are the main challenges faced by the residents of the monofunctional cities in Donbas today. What is the role of cultural and artistic practices in defining and redefining cultural identity in this context? Considering the initiatives being already implemented in the region, the successful revitalisation of local cultural economies is only possible from within the community. Arts & Culture are the principal means in this process since they represent new approaches to developing a shared future for the community and simultaneously unite the inhabitants establishing a shared sense of identity in the city. Discursive cultural interventions rarely result in high-quality transformations; however, they help form sustainable connections between individuals and institutions. For instance, talking about the Centre for Contemporary Art in Sieverodonetsk (an installation piece where the artists fenced off some land in the town and put up posters announcing the establishment of a non-existent art centre), one local inhabitant spoke about the need for institutions that support the development of the community’s potential: “Without art, people degenerate.” In this way, art and culture can be seen as the foundations of civil society.
|24 Jun 2019 → 6 Jul 2019