CSM / Foundation Centre for Contemporary Art is a non-profit non-governmental organization which sees its mission in the support of development and cooperation of non-commercial art practices.

People and Rockets [in a closed city]

“People and Rockets [in a closed city]” is an open laboratory that took place in Dnipro (Gallery space on 17 Husenka St.) on 15–17 June 2017.

Dnipropetrovsk (today Dnipro) was a closed city from 1959 to 1987 owing to the production of rockets at the Southern Machine-Building Plant (known as Pivdenmash). While this fact is common knowledge, very little is known about life in this closed city. Its residents’ stories won’t be found in Soviet archives detailing the plant’s production of tractors and children’s bikes, and the rest was concealed in party documents. How do you add the shades and variations of relations between people, production, ideology and consumption to this (missing) official history? What did the categories “closed” and “open” mean then and what are they today? Did the “legacy of a closed city” leave its mark on modern Dnipro? These issues were explored during a three-day event that included a documentary exhibition, laboratory and public program developed in collaboration with historians and museum workers.  

More info about the event.

This event is a part of the project “Your (hi)story? My (hi)story?” initiated by Marika Semenenko (Moscow), Anna Pohribna (Kyiv) and Kateryna Semenyuk (Dnipro) within the framework of Tandem Ukraine, an international cooperation programme for cultural managers. Their collaboration began in 2016 based on a common interest in the culture of memory and critical reflection on the past through participatory practices, oral histories and archival research. It culminated in 2017 with two parts of the project: “The End of Truth” in Moscow and “People and Rockets [in a closed city]” in Dnipro. The publication about the project will be published in March 2018.

This project was implemented in the framework of the Tandem–Cultural Managers Exchange Ukraine. Tandem–Cultural Managers Exchange Ukraine is an initiative of the European Cultural Foundation (Amsterdam) and MitOst (Berlin). Programme is implemented by MitOst and Insha Osvita (Kyiv), supported by the Federal Foreign Office (Berlin) in the framework of “Dialogue for Change”.


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