"Checkpoint Peace": Interdisciplinary memory project in Berlin.
"Checkpoint Peace" art interventions started as an Interdisciplinary memory project in Berlin. This spring, selected Ukrainian artists worked on historical topics in our residency-academy. They spent two weeks of an intensive program in Berlin, which included lectures and meetings with German scholars on history and political science, and met publicists and other intellectuals. On the basis of essays written by German scholars and personal artistic research, these four artworks explore the topography of Berlin, with an emphasis on its lack of memory and historical connections with Ukraine.
The goal of the project is to show the blind spots and gray zones in the culture of memory, bring into light the presence of controversial soviet memorials and point to historical myths. We want to find the grassroots in estimating the meaning of commonly shared values and historical events to reveal differences in their understanding.
The project dares to reveal, re-open and share four different practices and approaches that brought modern Germany for spreading the distorted ideas of abstract peace. We have the ambition and courage to criticize and re-think the most prominent historical events and their modern interpretations, as well as show them in modern topography of Berlin.
The aim of the program is to build a space for debate and put the light on imperialistic and totalitarian relationships in russian and German historical past, to find the connections between memory and present difficulties in the common way we think about russia's aggression against Ukraine.
From 17-30 April 2023 we invited 4 Ukrainian artists to work in Berlin and take part in a 2 weeks working group with the curatorial guidance to create four artistic projects in the public space of Berlin.
Checkpoint Peace will explore four thematic sections and historical periods with different myths and different understanding of notions:
#1. Russian Liberation of Germany vs. Germany was defeated by collective Arm force of Alliance and Soviet Army is the part of that legacy including battalions of different Soviet Republics.
#2.Cold War, nuclear weapon, anti-American sentiments. The division of Germany, peculiarities and differences of historical narratives regarding the Arms Race
#3. Berlin Wall fall, reunification of Germany. The historical narratives regarding topic of Freedom, the idealization of Gorbachev as a freedom giver and savior in former East and West Germany.
#4. Contemporary Peace movements in Germany. To reveal the narrative construct on which the German pacifist movement is based. How does this general conspiracy theory work, which is able to unite anti-vaxxers, radical leftists, and rightists together? Show its groundlessness and its gaps. If possible, to reveal the economic and cultural foundations of its emergence and current functioning.
Yan(a) Bachynska, Tetiana Kornieieva, Vitalii Shupliak, Anna Ivchenko were selected among the huge amount of strong applications.