The new multimedia venture “Ukrainian Constructivism” consists of two parts. The first is a cross-sectorial international art project at the intersection of contemporary visual art, ballet, electro-folk music, and historical drama. The second is a public festival program, which includes talks, round table discussions, workshops and a fair of initiatives.

The project aims to reveal the phenomenon of Ukrainian constructivism, its features and universal value for the world audience, as well as to raise the issue of the need to protect and preserve tangible and intangible heritage of constructivism in general. Therefore, the both parts, the artistic one and the public festival one, complement each other mutually, providing an opportunity to reveal the topic by different means, to look at it from different points.

The topics of public events are modernism, constructivism in the world and Ukrainian context, problematic aspects of its research, representation, and heritage protection activities.

Initiatives Fair

The Initiatives Fair presents local projects that work effectively with heritage of constructivism and interwar modernism in Ukrainian cities and in different regions of the country. In the videos shot by Pavlo Dorohoi and Yevhen Chervonyi, the participants of the initiatives are sharing their stories of relations with modernism and constructivism, they are telling about the objects being special for them; and they are specifying some difficulties they face and their nearest plans.

Natalia Lobach,
Pavlo Kravchuk
Lina Degtyaryova
Anastasia Bozhenko,
Olesya Chagovets
Yuliya Bohdanova
Valentyn Starostin
Dmytro Kubanov


The format of a discussion implies talking over an issue which the participants tackle in different ways. Our team has prepared the most spot-on issues in the context of modernism and constructivism studies, and invited some world-renowned researchers of these phenomena.

The discussions will take place online on Zoom, in accordance with the new reality requirements during the pandemic. Viewers will be able to join the discussion via Zoom and to ask questions online, or view the record of the event later.

1. Soviet Orientalism and Exoticization

The problem of colonialism of history, architecture or any other phenomena is currently the major topic of many studies and public debates. The Soviet studies also did not stand apart from it, and it was regarded particularly within the constructivism context. Why did Soviet architecture become a “new exotic” in the West and where is orientalism in all that? This issue will be discussed by the Ukrainian architect Ievgeniia Gubkina and the famous British writer and journalist Owen Hatherley.

2. Is modernism guilty?

Since the 1960s, modernism has been increasingly considered to be the cause of every imaginable trouble. Postmodern critics saw it as the cause of social, economic, and political problems. But was modernism the only culprit of poor living conditions, inequality and poverty of the second half of the 20th century? And what role did the iconic figure of Le Corbusier play in the history of architecture? And where can such a polarized interpretation of the modernist architects figures lead to? The Ukrainian architect and researcher Ievgeniia Gubkina and Maxime Forest, the lecturer at the “Sciences Po”, the Institute of Political Studies in Paris, will try to answer these questions.

3. Has modernism lost the fight?

Why was modernism replaced by other artistic and political trends almost all over the world in the interwar period? How did socialist realism stop the Soviet avant-garde “at full tilt”? Today, modernism is lingering on the sidelines of the public consciousness fighting to protect the historical and cultural heritage. However, can we eventually say that modernism is dead, despite the fact that it “outlived” many of its “slayers” as a matter of fact? Good bad modernism will be talked over by the Ukrainian architectural historian Ievgeniia Gubkina and the researcher of Soviet architecture, curator of the Armenian National Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale Ruben Arevshatyan.

Roundtable discussions

The round table format implies that the participants of the discussion have fundamentally similar views on a particular range of problems and therefore they can move on directly to agree upon practical follow-up actions to solve them.

Round table discussions were held in an offline format on the basis of the Zabolotny State Scientific Library of Architecture and Construction in Kyiv without audience in compliance with the necessary safety rules during the COVID-19 pandemic. The discussions videos are available on the project’s social media pages and on “Ukrainian Constructivism” website.

1. Why did the Ukrainian avant-garde become “The Russian One”?

If we analyze the public representations of the avant-garde in the world scope, we can conclude that any avant-garde, including the Ukrainian’s, is perceived as an exclusively Russian phenomenon. What evolved this situation?

We have invited some art critics, culture researchers and cultural diplomacy experts to inquire into the reasons of this state of things and to see what can be done about it.


Tetyana Filevska

Acting General Director of the Ukrainian Institute, contemporary art expert

Kateryna Iakovlenko

journalist, Fulbright Research Fellow in Shevchenko Scientific Society, USA

Sergei Sviatchenko

Ukrainian-Danish artist


Olena Skachkova

Zagoriy Foundation, Editor-in-Chief of the Media of Great Stories

2. Why should women’s history turn into a cultural brand of Ukraine?

The figure of the protagonist of the “Ukrainian Constructivism” multimedia venture, architect Lotte Stam-Beese, illustrates brightly the problems that women face both in their life and after it being already an object of their biography research. What way do we choose the women who represent a certain profession, historical period, etc.? Do some patriarchal views influence our choice?

We invited some researchers of women’s history and gender studies experts to identify and discuss these and other problems aspects they face in the context of the study of modernism and their representations, as well as the ways to overcome them.


Tetiana Isaieva

founder of the Museum of Women's and Gender History

Natalia Svitla

director of Zabolotny State Scientific Library of Architecture and Construction in Kyiv

Anna Dovgopol

Gender Democracy Program Coordinator, Heinrich Boell Foundation in Ukraine

Ievgeniia Gubkina

co-founder of the NGO Urban Forms Center and the avant-garde women’s movement “Modernistki”


Olena Skachkova

Zagoriy Foundation, Editor-in-Chief of the Media of Great Stories

3. 20th century architecture – why should constructivism be included into the UNESCO World Heritage List?

Modernism and constructivism are being under threat not only in Ukraine. Unfortunately, their being endangered can be claimed to be a global trend. However, in Ukraine, the local context is added to this issue, which complicates the work on heritage protection significantly.

We invited some government officials, activists and researchers to discuss the aspects of modernist and constructivist heritage protection problems in Ukraine and to find practical ways to protect the heritage.


Olena Mokrousova

Kyiv Research and Methodology Center for Preservation, Conservation, and Use of Historical and Cultural Landmarks and Nature Reserves, ICOMOS Ukraine

Taras Grytsiuk

activist of the “Save Kvity Ukrainy” initiative, coordinator of the “Living History Studies” program


Olena Skachkova

Zagoriy Foundation, Editor-in-Chief of the Media of Great Stories

Master classes

In a series of master classes, the artists involved into the production of the “Ukrainian Constructivism” multimedia venture are lifting the curtain over the creative process, demonstrating the means of creating music, dance and collage. The master classes are filmed both in a “silent” format, allowing you to fully focus on the work of the artist, without being distracted by anything superfluous, and with a detailed explanation of their own approach.

The presenters of their master classes are:

How I make a collage

Sergei Sviatchenko


How we work with history

Sebastian Kloborg and Tom McKenzie


How I make music

Yevhen Filatov