Lesia Pcholka BY
Heimat 2023

music Olga Anna Markowska 


MuseumsQuartier, Wien AT

I learned that the earth, like water, has several states

Participants: Kateryna Lysovenko, Polina Baitsym, Olia Sosnovskaya, Ruth Jenrbekova

The title for the discussion is borrowed from a diary entry of a Ukrainian artist Kateryna Lysovenko made in the first weeks of the war in Ukraine. The event is organized by the International Coalition of Cultural Workers Against the War in Ukraine ( in the Freiraum Ukraine. It is dedicated to understanding the interrelation of "power-knowledge" in the ex-Soviet countries, as well as the strategies and practices of artists' work on the deconstruction, opening, and appropriation of power relations in the field of knowledge.

Language is not neutral, it is built into the very fabric of power relations in a system of colonization, marginalization, demonization, building hierarchies, and "friend or foe" relations. And at the same time, language and knowledge can become an important part of emancipatory artistic practices.

The discussion involves artists with different backgrounds and traumatic experiences of war, protest, and colonization in ex-Soviet territories (Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan). 


Kateryna Lysovenko (Ukraine) – Graduated from Odesa Hrekov Arts College, National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture (Kyiv) and Kyiv Academy of Media Arts. In her artworks, she addresses the topic of violence which is oftentimes caused by political, religious and ideological oppression. Works and lives in Kyiv.

Polina Baitsym (Ukraine) – is an art historian and curator specializing in socialist realism in the Ukrainian visual arts. She is currently a doctoral candidate in comparative history at Central European University, Budapest/Vienna, and a curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art NGO (MOCA) Library, Kyiv, Ukraine

Olia Sosnovskaya (Belarus) – Artist, researcher and organizer. She focuses on interweaving notions of celebration, collective choreographies, affects, scores, and the political in and beyond post-socialist contexts. She graduated from the PhD-In-Practice program at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. A co-founder of the self-organized platform WORK HARD! PLAY HARD! and a member of the art and research group Problem Collective.

Ruth Jenrbekova (Kazakhstan) – was born in Almaty city, Kazakhstan. Since 1997 she has been involved in various cultural initiatives. Being a precarious employee of an imaginary art institution, she tries to combine several roles and positions, working in a duo with her partner artist Maria Vilkovisky.