The first round scheduled for 26 May to 9 June 2021 will be held as part of a public programme accompanying the "Tailings Dam" exhibition by Daniil Revkovskiy and Andriy Rachinskiy. The name of the exhibition is a reference to a neighbourhood in the city of Kryvy Rih where toxic waste from metallurgy has been accumulating for decades. In this work, the artists are addressing industrial aesthetics, raising the issue of responsibility for the use of natural resources, human impact on the environment, and the possibility of living in landscapes created by heavy industry.
To join, please fill out the form https://forms.gle/mbTcZkk3XCQpM27w9
The number of participants is limited to 15. The deadline for registration is 16 May 2021, 11:59 p.m. Kyiv time. The group will be formed and announced by 19 May 2021. Due to the epidemiological situation, reading group events will take place on Zoom. The working language is Ukrainian.
Reading club schedule
We recommend that you read all the following books individually to discuss them later within the group.
26 May, 7:30 p.m.
Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis is one the writer's best-known works about loneliness, alienation from the world and a difficult relationship with family.
Moderator: Jurko Prochasko, a Ukrainian literary scholar specialising in German studies, translator from German and Yiddish, columnist, essayist and psychoanalyst. He writes for periodicals such as Krytyka, Yi, Tygodnik Powszechny, Die Zeit, Kafka, la Repubblica, Falter.
Commentary about Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis by Daniil Revkovskiy and Andriy Rachinskiy: "Visiting various locations in Ukraine is important to our practice: collapse sinkholes of ore mines in Kryvy Rih, front-line neighbourhoods in Krasnohorivka, uranium dump sites in Kamyanske. While in such places, you often get the impression that you are not a person but just some remote creature hurled out of its usual context into the world of people who will not understand you or the purpose of your visit for that matter."
2 June, 7:30 p.m.
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, a satirical novel about the bombing of Dresden in the spring of 1945, which mocks the war, Nazism and army (not without ironic references to American reality).
Moderator: Roman Malynovsky, a co-founder of the Civilization publishing house, the editor-in-chief of the Library of Babel translation project and publishing house.
Daniil Revkovskiy and Andriy Rachinskiy say that eyewitness accounts of various tragic events in history often grab their attention. They also take notice of memories shared both by victims and executors. Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five (about one of the most brutal episodes of World War Two) is a telling example of victims' point of view on military aggression.
9 June, 7.30 p.m.
Volodymyr Bordun's Kharkiv Gulag, the author's recollection of his experience with the penitentiary system after he was jailed for political crimes. The book raises a complex issue of human rights abuse in the USSR and independent Ukraine.
Moderator: Olena Herasymyuk, a Ukrainian poet, writer, activist and volunteer. A paramedic with the Hospitaliers volunteer medical battalion. The author of Hlukhota (Deafness), Rozstrilny Kalendar (Execution Calendar), Tyuremna Pisnya (Prison Song).
Artists Daniil Revkovskiy and Andriy Rachinskiy describe how Volodymyr Bordun's Kharkiv Gulag became an important source of information for them: "Detention facilities in Ukraine are one of the areas of our research. In 2017, we examined Saltivka, one of Kharkiv's bedroom communities. We searched photos posted by residents of this residential district in social networks by geolocation and happened to come across an archive of a police station located on the ground floor of a high-rise. That piqued our interest and prompted us to have a closer look at the Ukrainian penitentiary system. Volodymyr Bordun's book tells the story of one of the penitentiary facilities, the penal colony in Kharkiv's Oleksiyivka infamous for its conditions."