Coming out of isolation 2.0 — a long-term project of the IZOLYATSIA Foundation and the NGO "KyivPride", which with the help of modern art contributes to the visibility of LGBT+ people, their full and equal inclusion in public life. The project is aimed at finding ways to perceive different groups of people, and to overcome discrimination.
This year video art was chosen as the main medium of the project. Through an open call in January 2020, we selected five artists and helped them in the development and creation of their video works on this topic.
During January-February 2020, the participants developed their ideas together with the mentor of the project Alina Kleitman during the first stage of the project — a joint residence. Residents also had the opportunity to communicate with many experts in the fields of film and video art, as well as activists and specialists on the LGBT+ community.
On March 9, 2020 participants’ projects were pitched, after that filming and production of films continued until September.
In September-October, premieres and screenings of films took place in Kyiv, regions and online:
September 10, 2020 — closed premiere of films in Kyiv, IZONE;
September 19, 2020 — screening in Kharkiv as a part of KharkivPride;
October 10, 2020 — screening in Mariupol at the ТЮ Platform;
October 17, 2020 — screening in Kherson together with ChO Іnsha.
Director and screenwriter Vitalii Havura presented a fictional short film Chachio. In it, he explores the life of LGBT+ people in the Roma community. According to the plot, the guy Janusz at his own wedding confesses to the bride that he is gay. For Romas, homosexuality is a shame, but Janusz decides to be recognized, despite the fact that after that he loses everything.
Even before the official premiere, the film was included in the program of the Odessa International Film Festival.
Artist Evhen Korshunov worked on a musical feature film Main Fortress of The Sich. This is a short Cossack gay burlesque, where there is no emphasis on the gender of the characters. The storyline is based on the Cossacks who are on self-isolation. Evhen attracted the scandalous queer fashion designer Mikhailo Koptev to shoot and create costumes. Through his film, the artist seeks to show how contemporary art can defend the rights of the LGBT+ community and raises the issue of equal access to cultural heritage and its interpretations. Evhen Korshunov says: "I want to convey that the historical and cultural achievements of our state can be used by everyone, regardless of gender and sexual orientation."
Another participant of the project, Lena Siyatovska, created a documentary film Your Michelle - a story about a 20-year-old transgender girl Michelle.
“We are slowly sinking into the reality and life of the heroine. The stories of school and student years periodically pop up in memories, closely intertwined with everyday reality. We are very closely watching the heroine now, her life in Kyiv. But together with her, we can return to the past in order to understand exactly where this story began”, says the artist.
Filmmaker and artist AntiGonStaff directed the short film Lucid skin. The hero of the film is an artist who redefines his identity. He is fond of self-harm, which he considers self-punishment for "masculine" and "patriarchal". This damage is the key image of the film. The plot is based on real events, the story of which is intertwined with fantasy.
The project of the artist Yana Bachynska — "Sect" society, is a story about a group of eccentric friends who live in a common space. Their everyday life is auditory hallucinations, which are messages from the future, in which queer utopia has come. Hallucinations elicit a response that performers understand as direct action to achieve an inclusive future, and the viewer as an artistic gesture.
The Coming out of Isolation 2.0 project is supported by the Human Rights Fund of the Netherlands Embassy in Ukraine.