Performing inscribed trajectories: a play in walks

Daria Khrystych, Bohdana Korohod

  • Initiation and walking-writing:Daria Khrystych, Bohdana Korohod
  • Design:Jaan Evart
  • Music composition:Sander Saarmets
  • Translation to Estonian and proofreading:Epp Aareleid
  • Walks with:Leigi Kütt-Gistvall, Kaili Õunapuu-Seidelberg, Oak Trees, Angela Tikoft, Tipsu, Lilija Andrusischin, Ulyana Andrusischin, Rocks and Crows
  • Grateful to:Lea Lehtmets, Eve Alte, Enno, Kaie Olmre, Hendrik Kaljujärv, Maike Lond, Eneli Järs, Felix Cognard, Liis Vares, Inga Salurand, Heneliis Notton and Kausaal, Lääne-Virumaa Keskraamatukogu
  • Published by:eˉlektron
  • In co-initiation with:eˉlektron, Baltoscandal 2022, Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Estonian Ministry of Culture, Tallinn City

Rakvere happened to be one of Estonian cities with the biggest influx of war refugees from Ukraine. The city dynamics and the purposes of many of its public spaces have changed. However, neither those events nor changes seemed to be reflected upon in the context of Baltoscandal, the festival taking place in and occupying half of this city. As it usually is, during the festivals with international guests and participants the cities with its residents turn into mere backgrounds. To give presence and voice to the city itself, to acknowledge the efforts of its many actors’ self-organization in supporting Ukrainian refugees, the artists Bohdana Korohod and Daria Khrystych focused on the research of the affective landscape of Rakvere during March-June 2022.
Through walking interviews, they have explored the city together with its different residents, from locals to newly arrived Ukrainians, to its natural inhabitants such as boulders. The artists have worked with walking methodologies, practices of dérive, mapping and dramaturgy of care in their site-reflective research.
As a result, they have composed three scripted walks which act as condensed affective perceptions of the city. In collaboration with the sound artist Sander Saarmets music compositions were created to accompany each of the walks. The major characteristic of these walks is that they are supposed to be read while walking in the city of Rakvere.
To ensure that the work is accessible by the city’s diverse residents and visitors, each walk in the book is written in English, Estonian and Ukrainian. The book can be owned for free or borrowed from the library and returned later depending on the audience’s decision.
After the festival has finished, the book has traveled around countries and started living its own life. Currently the copies are available in Ukraine, Portugal, Sweden and Finland. The Reader is free in where and how to use the scripted walks.

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Web with music compositions

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Collective archive

During the book’s presentation at Baltoscandal 2022, a space of collective archiving was created. Either in the library or in the theater’s park, a spectator could take a book in exchange for a reflection on the city, answering to the question, “How does Rakvere make you feel today?” The audience could choose either to independently go through the whole process following hints left in the space, or to approach the artists for a conversation instead. At the end of the festival more than 70 written reflections have been collected.
collective archive.pdf

Anthropologies of space

In 2020 eˉlektron started an experimental project Anthropologies of Space, in which the participating artists deal with issues of man and space. Even in the global context, the contemporary cultural space is in a new delicate situation. As cultural theorists have documented, contemporary precarity is linked to a broader range of technological, social, and political changes. Traditional "grand narratives" and values ​​associated with the Enlightenment and the old Western moral order are also constantly being called into question. Our traditional space of values ​​has to constantly explain and make sense of itself, to stand up for itself. Artists Daria Khrystych, Liis Vares, Bohdana Korohod and Inga Salurand focus on liminality. The concept of liminal spaces is familiar from architecture - spaces whose function is limited, whose role is to take the user from one place to another. These spaces are not for staying or being in - lobbies, corridors, streets, highways and abandoned spaces. Transitional spaces are also psychological spaces - spaces where we mentally prepare ourselves to consider what is on the other side. Big personal changes are also transition spaces - a child becomes an adult and leaves home, you are fired or you are caught in the emotional whirlwind of a divorce. In these spaces - both in a stairwell and in court - one is in limbo - neither here nor there. Transitional spaces can and must be treated as a material, semiotic and psychological whole. The 2022 Anthropologies of Space had their premieres at the Baltoscandal festival in different locations in the city of Rakvere.