Past events
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For the second edition of SPÄTI with a focus on Ukraine, we invited all ten fellows from Ukraine to introduce them to the visitors of the Humboldt Forum. After a short talk with the fellows, we will give you a visual and interactive experience of some of their projects: on the Cosmograph in the foyer Sasha Kurmaz, a well-known Ukrainian video artist, will show his recent work; Olha Andronova will make individual buttons together with you and Iryna Lavrova and Olha Sarajeva invite you to a game about Ukrainian cultural heritage.

After 6 p.m. DJne Helleroid will fill the room with Ukrainian beats, the bar will offer drinks and we will invite you to seize the opportunity and talk to the curator Kateryna Rietz-Rakul and the Ukrainian fellows.


Sasha Kurmaz (*1986, Kyiv) currently lives and works in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Sasha is an interdisciplinary artist. In his artistic practice, he uses different media and approaches such as photography, video, public interventions, and performative situations. The focus of his work is on social and political issues, as well as global challenges faced by Ukrainian society in recent years.

Kurmaz has participated in many international exhibitions and festivals, including exhibitions at ZKM Museum of Contemporary Art, Akademie der Künste (Berlin), NRW-Forum Düsseldorf, Künstlerhaus Vienna, Skovde Art Museum, Zamek Ujazdowski, Forum Stadtpark, C/O Berlin, and many others.

Vasyl Cherepanyn (*Ukraine, 1980) is Head of the Visual Culture Research Center (VCRC), an institution he cofounded in Kyiv in 2008 as a platform for collaboration among academic, artistic, and activist communities. He holds a PhD in philosophy (aesthetics) and has lectured at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder), University of Helsinki, Free University of Berlin, Merz Akademie in Stuttgart, University of Vienna, Institute for Advanced Studies of the Political Critique in Warsaw, and University of Greifswald.

He was a visiting fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna in 2016. He coedited Guidebook of the Kyiv International (Medusa Books, 2018) and ’68 NOW (Archive Books, 2019), and curated The European International (Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam, 2018), Hybrid Peace (Stroom, The Hague, 2019), and Armed Democracy (2nd edition of Biennale Warszawa, 2022), among others. VCRC is the organizer of the Kyiv Biennial (The School of Kyiv, 2015; The Kyiv International, 2017; The Kyiv International—’68 NOW, 2018; Black Cloud, 2019; Allied, 2021) and a founding member of the East Europe Biennial Alliance. VCRC received the European Cultural Foundation Princess Margriet Award for Culture in 2015 and the Igor Zabel Award Grant for Culture and Theory in 2018.

While receiving the Humboldt Forum fellowship, Vasyl Cherepanyn was able to work on topics such as decolonization in Eastern Europe in Ukrainian and post-Soviet dimensions and memory politics and memory culture in Eastern Europe and Ukraine after the collapse of the USSR in light of decolonization processes.

Furthermore, he is interested in working with the archives, collections, and exhibition materials of the Humboldt Forum and its actors, reviewing its planned programs, recommending possible topics, and expanding thematic areas in the field of decolonization and the politics of memory for the future. His goal is to develop a discourse/exhibition project on anti-colonialism, war, and memory in post-Soviet Eastern Europe with the aim of public institutional representation of the relevant issues.

Olha Sarayeva, Ph.D. historian, and professor at the Department of Philosophy and History of Ukraine, Priazovsky State Technical University (Mariupol). Before leaving Mariupol to escape the Russian invasion, Olha Sarayeva was engaged in scientific research in the field of Ukrainian history and local history, focusing on such areas as sociology, law, and the introduction of gaming technologies into the educational process.

She is particularly interested in the activity of local self-government bodies (city councils and offices) ХІХ – early ХХ century in the south and east of Ukraine. This research has a current value for Ukraine, as it can support the decentralization reform with further knowledge.

For her research on the history of local self-government bodies, Olha Sarayeva has searched the archives of the cities of Dnipro, Kyiv, Odesa, Bakhmut, Mariupol, Kharkiv, Donetsk, etc. (the latter before the beginning of the Russian war in 2014). More than 90 scientific articles on the above topics appeared in Ukrainian and international publications, as well as three monographs.

With the support of the Humboldt Forum, Olha Sarajeva would like to continue her research, in particular, the source material on the history of local self-government in Ukraine at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, with special attention to the colonial policy of the Russian Empire in Ukraine. The cooperation with the Humboldt Forum opens up the possibility to work with archival collections of Ukraine and tap their information potential. Scientists of the Humboldt Forum also support alternative forms of education, especially the introduction of game technologies into the educational process. Therefore, the experience of German scientists in the development, improvement, and testing of original games is very valuable.

Pavlo Koryaha is a culturologist, cultural manager, and researcher of Ukrainian architecture and urban space of the Soviet period. He is a Ph.D. student at the National Ivan Franko University of Lviv, Department of Theory and History of Culture, where he researches the cultural landscape, urban space of the Soviet period, and its impact on people. Pavlo Koriaha also works as a project manager in the international office “Lviv – UNESCO City of Literature” and on the projects of the NGO “Ukrainian Association of Cultural Studies – Lviv”.

Pavlo Koryaga is convinced that “the examples of Ukrainian architectural modernism are the heritage of Ukrainian and world culture, and it is important to conduct a dialogue in society about their historical and artistic value. In Ukraine, and in Lviv in particular, there are many valuable buildings of late modernism, brutalism, and postmodernism that capture the imagination and attention of the public.”

Thanks to support from the Humbold Forum Foundation, it was possible to conduct a study on the impact of Soviet colonialism on Ukrainian culture, especially in terms of urban space, place names, and architecture. The results of the study could be published in the framework of the public presentation at the IV International Scientific and Practical Conference “Discussion and Development of Modern Scientific Research”, October 18-21, 2022 in Helsinki, Finland (online format) with subsequent publication of abstracts in the conference proceedings. There was also a published scientific article on the “Ukrainian dimension of “Soviet modernism” in shaping the socio-cultural space of Lviv” in the scientific journal of Lviv University. Further cooperation with the Humboldt Forum Foundation would allow continuing the research of urban space and architecture of the Soviet period in the context of the analysis of sources and architectural patterns of the Soviet occupation of parts of Germany and Ukraine.

Olha Honchar is a cultural curator and crisis manager, she works as a director of the Memorial Museum of Totalitarian Regimes “Territory of Terror” in Lviv, and as a curator of interdisciplinary projects in the field of historical memory and trauma.

Olha Honchar researches the peculiarities of PR, cultural and museum management in Ukraine, especially in the peripheral regions. She is a communicator for, among others, the following projects: “Cultural diplomacy between the regions of Ukraine”, “Museum is open for renovation” in frontline and liberated cities of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, expedition “Here and there”, etc.

Olha is the co-curator of the experimental exhibition “Antiterrorist operation” of the Luhansk Regional Museum of Local History in Starobilsk (2020).

She is also the executive director of the initiative “Crisis Center Museum”, created in the first days of the Russian war against Ukraine, and co-founder of the NGO “New Museum” and the charity “Fund of Cultural Heritage of Ukraine”.

To the Humboldt Forum, Olha Honchar shares her expertise in dealing with the heritage of Ukrainian Soviet monumental art in contemporary Ukrainian museums and offers the possibility of networking with Ukrainian institutions.

Iryna Lavrova, PhD World History, author of games on the history of Ukrainian culture. Her areas of interest are education, culture, history, and game technology, the most exciting ideas and projects are born at the intersection of different branches. This is also how the Cultural History Games, which Iryna conducts with schoolchildren and students, came into being.

After graduation, Iryna worked as a history teacher and later as a lecturer at Priazov University (Ukraine) for more than 20 years, teaching Ukrainian history and culture. In recent years (2019-2022), she has been advocating for gaming technologies in education, developing and conducting educational games on Ukrainian cultural history with children and young adults.

In cooperation with German colleagues from Humboldt Forum, Iryna Lavrova is interested in exploring new ways of communication and modern methods of organizing educational activities, especially through game activities. She is aware of the great demand of young people for useful intellectual free time and she believes common intercultural games for German and Ukrainian youth are very meaningful today. Through such games, they can get to know each other better and communicate effectively.

Olha Andronova (*1988 Mariupol), lives and works in Kyiv.
In 2010 she received a bachelor’s degree in painting from the State Academy of Arts, continued her studies at the Academy of Culture and Art Management, and received a master’s degree in art history in 2012. Since then she has been working as an artist. Later on, Olha received a diploma in psychology in 2017 and ran her own psychological practice.

At the Humboldt Forum, she would like to organize an art master class for children and adults and show an exhibition of works by Ukrainian artists “Artists against the war!”. Since her childhood, she was surrounded by art and artists* and learned a lot from her mentors – Oleksandr Zhivotkov, Matviy Vaisberg, Tiberii Silvashy, Vyacheslav Sherishevskyi, Anatoly Kryvolap, Petro Lebedynets. She dreams to present their art and their vision of war in the Humboldt Forum and also bring Ukrainian art and artists’ emotions closer to the German public.

Dana Brezhnieva, curator and researcher. Studied in Taras Shevchenko National University in Kyiv. Five years worked as curator of Mala gallery of National Museum complex Mystersky Arsenal. Since 2017 till now active participant of the art initiative DE NE DE, which focuses on urban transformations during decommunization and promotes creative rethinking of the Soviet heritage. Also, curator in the project Under Construction: Museum Open, networking of Ukrainians museums.

Zhenia Moliar is an art historian. Studied at the National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture in Kyiv. Works on the cultural heritage of the Soviet period, in particular monumental art. Curated a project called SOVIET MOSAICS IN UKRAINE.

As member of the self-organized initiative DE NE DE  study and preserve uncomfortable cultural heritage in the context of ideological shifts.

Predoctoral fellow in The Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max Planck Institute for Art History in Rome. Researching the practices of contemporary Ukrainian art which turn to cultural heritage of the Soviet period

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