Imprints: Berlin, Kyiv, Wrocław, Moscow

by Helena Kernan

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Imprints brings together four creative, socially-engaged individuals from across Central and Eastern Europe to express their vision through the use of a disposable analogue camera. The four contributors work across different creative disciplines in European cities that experienced the post-1989 transition particularly intensely. Melanie, a visual artist from Chile living in Berlin; Haska, a writer and translator living in Kyiv; Lea, a student of architecture from Wrocław; and Artem, a performance artist and activist based in Moscow.

Each artist was given the same brief and an identical Kodak single-use 35mm camera with 36 frames to use up within two weeks. The project instructions encouraged participants to shed light on their own artistic practice, their daily experiences, the ways in which they navigate the aesthetic, the social and the political, and the societies in which they live. What captures the attention of young artists living in post-socialist cities today? What makes them hopeful, what frustrates them, what do they admire, and how do they interact with the people and spaces around them?
Each artist is rooted in their own context, but there are also instances of interconnectedness, in which common concerns, perspectives and imagery mirror each other across space and time.

Special thanks go Johanna Werner, Elena Barysheva, Daniel Hallström, Kateryna Voropai, Kuba Snopek and Iza Rutkowska who went out of their way to help with project logistics by transporting cameras across Europe, taking film to be developed and engaging their personal creative networks to make the project happen.


About the author:

Helena Kernan is a graduate student in Slavic Languages and Literatures at UC Berkeley. Following her studies in Russian and French language and literature at the University of Cambridge, Helena lived in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kyiv, where she worked with prominent arts and theatre collectives and human rights organisations, such as Garage Museum of Contemporary Art and Russian Memorial society.