“A pacifist is a rare beast in a bomb shelter.” The war in Ukraine challenged our idea of pacifism. Should Europe take up arms or not? Can it ease its conscience only with humanitarian aid? Isn’t Europe’s attitude towards the war mainly driven by economic motives? In Passivity, Ukrainian art curator Alexandra Tryanova and Belgian sociologist Pascal Gielen engage in a dialogue about this. In doing so, they not only talk about the current political situation, but also look at themselves; at their own fears and privileges. What is passivity in our own daily doings? When does pacifism turn into resignation? How do our surrounding media and culture contribute to such an attitude? Passivity does not provide unifying answers to these questions. Rather, it looks for ways to find peace with our own mixed feelings.
Alexandra Tryanova (Odesa, Ukraine, 1990) is an independent curator and researcher, currently living in Belgium. Her interests focus on artistic practices connected with collective memory, gender, institutional critique and Eastern European avant-gardes. Pascal Gielen is a writer and full professor of sociology of culture and politics at the Antwerp Research Institute for the Arts (ARIA) where he leads the Culture Commons Quest Office (CCQO). Polina Frank (Dnipro, Ukraine, 2000) is a (tattoo) artist and journalist. In 2022, following the occupation, she started to work as a volunteer supplier of military gear for Ukrainian armed forces. She travels back and forth between the Netherlands and Ukraine.
May 2023, Valiz supported by Support Fund for Ukrainian Artists NL
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