ArtsLink International Fellowships: US Residency

2019 Participants

Croatia
Zagreb
Performance Art

Selma Banich (born in 1979 in Yugoslavia, lives in Zagreb) is an artist, educator and community organizer. Her socially engaged practice is based on explorative, processual, and activist work, and is politically inspired by anarchism and feminism. Selma has worked independently and in collaboration with other artists, curators, groups, and initiatives in the Balkans, across Europe, and in the US. She has participated in numerous dance, theater, and opera productions as a choreographer, and has also performed on film. She participates in local and transnational solidarity initiatives related to the ongoing feminist, anti-fascist, migrant, and workers’ struggles. Currently, those initiatives are Transbalkan Solidarity and For BREAD.

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Moldova
Hîrtop village
Theater

Rusanda Curcă is a cultural worker, environmental and civic activist living in Hîrtop village, Republic of Moldova. She is the co-directrice of the Center for Cultural Projects Arta Azi, with a focus on developing the theatre sector within the country. Also, Rusanda was recently elected the co-directrice of the Coalition of the independent cultural sector from Republic of Moldova, an umbrella organization that unites the representatives of the independent cultural scene in order to consolidate it and which aims to improve the legislation in the field of culture through advocacy activities.

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Palestine
Ramallah
Multidisciplinary

An experienced arts manager, curator and policy maker, Fatin Farhat is the founding director of the Palestine Observatory for Cultural Policy, where she curates and manages projects that foster community participation through the arts.

Fatin has overseen a broad spectrum of cultural initiatives and artistic programs from street festivals to municipal policy. Currently she is working on her Ph.D. from Hildesheim University (Germany) and examining the potential that grassroots initiatives and the local government can play in fostering community engagement and cultural development in Palestine. Fatin is currently developing a new art and community program – In Our Houses – in Kobar village in the West Bank, where the inhabitants become curators, organizing and presenting shows in the village’s houses and gardens.

Passionately interested in community-based art, Fatin wanted to engage in projects that involve the Arabic community in the US. In the climate of Islamophobia and racism, she was interested in exploring art as a form of resistance and resilience for marginalized communities. She believes the gap between the US and her home region is widening and that artistic cooperation is a powerful and vital instrument to foster deeper understanding.

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Bulgaria
Sofia
Multidisciplinary

An installation, sculpture, photo and video artist, Ivaylo Hristov’s work is often based on questions related to the objectives of space missions, but in the context of everyday life. Where to look for wealth? What is truly valuable today? How do we see our own future and the future of the planet and humanity? In his exploration of the problems of the modern world and the role of humans in the era of robotization and digitization, Ivaylo closely collaborates with communities collecting and documenting narratives, interviews and stories. His current solo exhibition LIGHTFLIGHT explores the topic of the cosmos and the boundaries of what is possible. During his residency, Ivaylo intended to meet with members of both scientific and non-scientific communities to learn about their perspectives on current events and scientific achievements in space and how they affect people’s everyday lives and dreams.

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Croatia
Zagreb
Theater

In a time marked by a proliferation of digital technologies, neo-liberalism and growing nationalism, theater artist and playwright Ivana Ivkovic, examines ways to open up spaces for public engagement and collective agency and encourage social solidarity. Her current research is rooted in the civic and professional sense of urgency around the global crisis created by growth-based neoliberal capitalism and peoples’ concurrent loss of a sense of belonging. Being deeply interested in the destabilization of a theatrical act as an act of performance, an act of spectating and an act of communication, Ivana’s work produces more problems than attempts at unequivocal understanding, immersion and identification. Drawing inspiration from her work with dancers, Ivana’s recent work is focused around a study on pedestrian walking practices from meditation walks to protest marches.

Through her residency Ivana wanted to engage with artists, organizations and community groups that question the public sphere; namely, what is and isn’t allowed and how can this reshape the political reality and further develop the sense of communality.

Ukraine
Kyiv
Multidisciplinary

Through his work, photographer and activist Sasha Kurmaz analyzes modern society and the ways it can be influenced by an artist’s practice. Driven by socio-political issues, Sasha immerses himself in a local environment, exploring local social conditions, their historical backgrounds, and their political context. This deep research informs his work and resonates with the place where it is created and presented.

Sasha is editor and designer of 5.6, an independent Ukrainian photography magazine, and has shown his work in numerous exhibitions, the most recent of which is Revolutionize, an international research and exhibition project demonstrating that the aspiration for freedom, decent living standards, and respect for fellow citizens are the universal values shared by all people around the world.

During his residency in the US, Sasha wanted to meet with members of artistic communities, activists, researchers and urbanists. He is particularly interested in grassroots initiatives and innovative networks of activists and organizations that explore practical solutions for sustainable development. 

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Russia
St. Petersburg
Multidisciplinary

Activist, theatre and performance artist Nadezhda (Ada) Mukhina explores migration, refuge, transcultural and cross-border communication, and global politics in her work. Through workshops Ada investigates modern Russian migration to the west; what drives people to leave their home country and what anchors them to stay. Ada’s interest in non-homogeneous communities informs her extensive work with young people as she investigates the growing xenophobia in modern society. She is deeply interested in how the lives of people of different cultures blend in the city or how they antagonize each other.

Ada directed ‘Locker Room Talk’ by Gary McNair – a provocative piece of event theatre examining sexually aggressive comments and sexism.

Ada was looking forward to engaging with US communities and artists during her residency. She wanted to explore new perspectives on the different ways art interacts with social engagement and activism, and planned to create a more advanced and nuanced project with her communities back home.

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Russia
Yekaterinburg

Multimedia and mural artist, Slava PTRK often addresses political and social issues in his work through a prism of deep irony. Slava’s works reveal the absurdity of this world and draw public attention to things that are not so visible.

In his current work, Slava explores the connection between themes of violence and the city as a giant organism or a group of organisms. Being deeply troubled by the current processes occurring in Russian society, Slava focuses his work around the impact of human violence on a person, or holding power over a person, as well as human beings’ violent actions on the environment. In collaboration with a local photographer, Slava created Street Dirt, a series of shield-portraits placed on fences and sidewalks of Yekaterinburg that, after exposure to the city’s dirt and dust as well as random footprints of pedestrians, revealed the portraits of homeless people in the city.

During his ArtsLink Residency, he wanted to explore work that reflected on the issues currently confronting US society – discrimination, deepening racism, and police violence. 

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Latvia
Riga
Multimedia

Independent curator, arts manager and researcher, Maija Rudovska runs Blind Carbon Copy – the network platform in the Baltic-Nordic region, which focuses on network building models, alternative education and work strategies for curators, artists and other arts practitioners. Having extensive experience working in different structures – large arts institutions, non-profit organizations, galleries and a residency space, Maija has a growing interest in exploring cross-disciplinary approaches in contemporary art informed by social practices.

Maija believes deeply in building bridges between institutions, individuals and communities, so she always pays careful attention to creating a platform where different voices can meet. One of her most recent projects Language: from Practice to Action is focused on language in its broadest sense: as a vehicle for communication that either bridges communities and individual interactions or brings the conversation to a deadlock – a tool both to exercise power as well as an instrument for the emancipation of communities.

During her residency in the US, Maija wanted to engage with non-profit arts institutions and residency programs that work in the field of curatorial and cross-disciplinary education, particularly with a focus around issues of wages, exploitation, inequality, ethics and sustainability.

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Ukraine
Dnipro
Multidisciplinary

Arts manager and curator of arts programs at Kultura Medialna – a team of arts professionals, technologists and urbanists – Kateryna Rusetska focuses her work on collective identity, memory and history, and development in post-Soviet and post-industrial public spaces. She investigates the ways social and political realities impact the fragility and resilience of individual stories and collective histories. One of her recent projects Youth – Active – City promotes youth activism and civic engagement in Ukraine’s eastern city of Dnipro – a struggling industrial town where she is currently involved in the development of the only Arts and Culture Center.

During her residency in the US Kateryna wanted to meet with arts professionals, artists and community members living and working in post-industrial urban centers and to explore the ways citizens, artists and activists respond to ongoing socio-political shifts and transformations.

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