9 June 2020—9 June 2020
June 9, 2014 is the day when the territory of IZOLYATSIA in Donetsk was seized by representatives of the DPR terrorist organization and turned the foundation’s premises into a terrible prison in occupied Donbas.
From its inception until 2014, the foundation worked in Donetsk and strove to stimulate systemic changes in local communities through artistic practices. From the first events that attracted only a few dozen volunteers to large-scale projects attended by thousands of Donetsk residents and guests from around the world, we strove to get as far away as possible from the phenomenon that the fund's name denoted — social, economic, cultural and mental isolation of Donbas.
The continuity of this process was disrupted by Russian aggression, as a result of which IZOLYATSIA lost its home in Donetsk. Like other internally displaced people and organizations, the fund changed its place of residence and at the same time transformed its work. Based in Kyiv, we have and continue to conduct research, carry out projects, organize residences and open exhibitions in the most remote corners of the East of Ukraine and in world capitals. We continued to work on the topic of isolation, which, due to the war, acquired new meanings — in particular, the isolation of Ukrainian politicians and opinion-makers from a balanced and integrated peace process.
On the sixth anniversary of the seizure of the fund, which we call the IZOLYATSIA Day, the fund has decided to return to Donbas. Our new location will be the city of Soledar, Donetsk region. From there, we will work with both local activists and international artists and researchers who will study anthropocentric processes. Through the study of local practices of the Anthropocene in the context of global changes that have befallen modern mankind, we encourage local communities to develop new visions of the way out of isolation — their own lives, community development and for the future of Donbas.
Our return to the East is a logical continuation of the constant movement and changes that have always filled the life of IZOLYATSIA. On our new journey, we take away the symbols of our past connected with the Donetsk Isolation plant and recall one of the last projects that were carried out there. At the end of 2013, the foundation introduced the Pulse Room, an interactive installation by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, which, shortly before the occupation of Donetsk, united the hearts of many Donetsk residents in a rhythm of freedom and harmony.
Our grounding is also a tribute to those times and to those residents of Donbas who supported us and with whom we have sustained and fostered relationships with all these years.