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The Russian Woods
a Chto Delat? film

Free, 29th June, 7pm

This screening will follow on from a day workshop by Dmitry Vilensky as part of a Lecture from behind the screen. Participation on this workshop will be free, details are below.

The Russian Woods, 2012
Duration 42 min

Script & Idea: Tsaplya and Dmitry Vilensky

Music: Mikhail Krutik

Choreography: Nina Gasteva

Set & graphics: Nikolay Oleynikov

Our work on the musical performance "Russian Woods" was largely provoked by political developments in Russia last winter. By participating in these important events that all of sudden have emerged inside Russian civil society, we were intrigued by the huge amount of use of mythic images and rhetoric, both from the government and from the protesters. We found that this phenomenon is not by chance and really reflects the level of a political culture in the country. And we wanted to try to analyze it in the form of a fairy tail story that would be able to not only reflect the totality of socio-political structure of our society, but also think about the possibilities of its transformation.

The film is based on the documentation of the theatrical performance which happened in St. Petersburg on 2nd of May 2012

Film Concept and script: Vilensky Dmitry & Tsaplya (Olga Egorova); Director: Tsaplya (Olga Egorova); Composer: Mikhail Krutik; Choreography: Nina Gasteva; Graphics and Set: Nikolay Oleynikov and Dmitry Vilensky; Director of Photography: Artyom Ignatov

This film is a production of the Chto Delat? collective

The First Kyiv International Biennial of Contemporary Art

This film was produced with support from the Chto Delat? Fund.

The English version of this play was staged on 25th of March in a framework of the festival "Speaking and understanding" // Episode 3 Copying without copying, concept and production by Arika (arika.org.uk)

Seminar - dialogue with Dmitry Vilensky (member of Chto Delat collective)
FREE. Please contact James.holcombe[at]no-w-here.org.uk to confirm your place as our venue has limited seating.

Is our world been becoming a better place?
1. Morning session (10am-1pm)
A few decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union and Eastern bloc, our world has changed so profoundly and with such a speed we can hardly comprehend it. These changes are very visible in art and cultural systems, which have become global and started to play a role of a test ground for new models of labour, the production of new subjectivities and class composition.

Initially we greeted the collapse of real socialist countries with great enthusiasm but since then we have encountered so many blatant brutalities of neo liberalism (new wars, privatisation and enclosure of commons, attacks on culture and education etc.). Therefore, we again face the pressing urgency of finding alternatives which could lead us out of the dead end of a collapsing system.
I suggest we talk about the role of art in the current political situation. On the one hand, we experience the global mass mobilization for new forms of governance (so called “real democracy”) and on the other hand, there is a continuous offensive of private interest and profit on all spheres of social life.

How can we reconsider the role and political responsibility of art in a changing world?
In this session two films will be screened: Jean -Luc Godard “British Sounds” (1969) and a film by Activist film Studio “Russian Sounds” (2011)
1-2pm Lunch break
2. Evening session (2-5pm)
Gaining a consciousness
The case of Chto Delat as a platform, or self-organisation as method

The main idea of self-organised structures is to keep the creation, production and distribution of art under autonomous control. It realises its activity through creating “Art Soviets” that are able to politicize cultural production through a process of collective subjectivization. The main goal of this structure is to cultivate political instincts, educate class concioussness and provoke a democratic, emancipatory activity in the spheres of labor, politics and aethetics.

We will discuss anti-capitalist practices, the Russian situation, collective emancipation, the public as co-creator, radical poverty, inner temporality, the commons, how not to choose between entryism and exodus, non-alienated relations, the social impact of micro-political interventions, heated editorial processes, local optics, experience-bases for solidarity, and how art goes beyond simply reflecting the world, and instead takes the risk to change it…

Everyone is welcome to think, argue and hopefully act together…
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