Ukraine is under siege following a full-scale military invasion by Russia on 24 February 2022

On 28 November 2023, at 19:00, the fifth public talk of the Grounding. Invasion residency will take place. During the event, the artist Alexandra Clod, together with a photographer, local historian, researcher of the history of mining in the Donetsk region Mykhailo Kulishov, will discuss the transformation of post-industrial landscapes into natural environments, and the history of the coal industry in Donbas and England, the mythology of coal and its role in the development of civilisation.



During 2022-2023, Alexandra Clod was immersed in researching the history of the coal industry in Donbas and England. In an auto-ethnographic way, Alexandra explores the impact of colonisation and totalitarianism on attitudes towards nature, as well as issues of home, roots and intergenerational connections. Her interest in the phenomenon of coal and its significance in the history of both humanity and the planet has taken its final form in her new project Katabasis. This multimedia project is currently on view as part of the (Re)Grounding exhibition in Newcastle, and focuses on the mythological, political and personal landscapes of the coal industry. 
Through a performative re-enactment of her grandfather's mining labour, a mythological lens on coal mining, and literary explorations of industrialisation and utopia, she manifests the connections between different historical, geographical and political contexts. During the presentation, she will share her research, how its environmental, personal and political components developed, what inspired her, and how this project has influenced her artistic practice.

Mykhailo Kulishov will talk about the history and transformation of industrial and post-industrial landscapes in eastern Ukraine, the transformation of post-industrial landscapes into natural environments, and the importance of preserving and restoring natural environments that emerge on the sites of former industrial facilities. The local historian will highlight the cases of the creation of objects of the Nature Reserve Fund of Ukraine at the sites of mineral extraction, and show how nature reclaims the space abandoned by people after the cessation of mining operations.


Alexandra Clod (Krolikowska) is an interdisciplinary artist and psychologist. Using analogue photography, video and performance in her artistic practice, she explores the connections between personal and collective mythology, issues of cycles, memory, roots and home. She pays special attention to the study of psychological archetypes and the role of rituals in the present. Throughout 2023, Oleksandra is immersed in researching the history of the coal industry in Donbas and England, and the mythology of coal. During the presentation, she will share her new project related to the environmental crisis from the perspective of industrialisation.

Kulishov Mykhailo is a photographer, local historian, member of the National Union of Local Historians of Ukraine, researcher of the history of mining in the Donetsk region; author of the online project "Mines and Mines of Donbas"; participant of international and national scientific conferences, author and co-author of more than 30 scientific works on the history and local history of Donbas, caving and geotourism. Co-author of historical and local history publications "Stoupky. The Fourth Dimension (1881-2018)" (2018), "Bakhmut on Maps and Plans (Early XVIII - Second Half of the XX Century)" (2021), "The Path Marked with Salt. The Salty History of Eastern Ukraine" (2022).


Event date: 28.11.2023


The Grounding.Invasion project is funded by the Stabilisation Fund for Culture and Education 2023 of the German Federal Foreign Office and the Goethe-Institut.