Territory and People, 2022
Text: Yuliia Kolesnyk
Voice: Pau Cata Marles, Yuliia Kolesnyk
Videographer: Yuliia Kolesnyk
It was born when I realized that the way to explain the past of Ukraine to the people in Catalunya, where I suddenly found myself as a displaced person, was to refer to the shared experience of persecution, repression, and mass executions, that were actively used by the regimes both in Franco-times Spain and in Soviet Ukraine. This past equalized us and erased the safety zone of 'we and the others'.
The earth equally accepts the bodies of those killed and tortured everywhere where it happens. It becomes a metaphor that helps to show the universal nature of war and mass violence. The way to connect and understand is underground, in the earth itself—the primary silent keeper of the memories of atrocities.
Clothes filled with earth are on the ground. It resembles a headless human body. The performer lifts it slowly. A soil weight is equal to the performer’s weight. The soil comes out through the sleeves, neck, and trouser legs. This action is a practical and metaphorical fight with myself, my weight—the weight of trauma, the weight of violence, and the weight of survivor's guilt. The voiceover is written both in Ukrainian and Catalan, intertwining the stories and feelings; referring to the weight of memory and the iniquity of equality.