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One world: In Times of War, Do the Muses Fall Silent?

Together with the NGO “People in need” the Goethe-Institute invited several artists, writers and activists to this year’s edition of “One world” film festival to Prague to discuss the role of politically engaged art in this “undeclared war”. When journalist Mustafa Nayem posted an appellative Facebook call on November 21, 2013, to not just virtually “like” but to join him at Maidan square subsequently to Ukrainian government’s announcement that it would not sign a trade agreement with the EU, he could not have foreseen his message to be a trigger momentum of a gigantic people’s uprising, lasting for several months and resulting in hundreds of casualties, the dismissal and escape of the president and the following violent assault and reshaping of Ukraine’s territory. The drama of countless individual destinies is based on these enormous political shifts - the stories of people from Maidan, from Luhansk and Donetsk or Crimea. Most of these stories are yet to be told. But everything starts with the act of speaking, and listening and with performing and closer inspection. From the very beginning artists and activists played a crucial role in civic resistance against forms of power. In this exposed position they are facing different forms of oppression, ranging from prohibition to work, intimidation, detention, torture, exile and even death. What does it mean to live and work under such conditions? How can artistic practice been carried on in nowadays Ukraine, and particularly in regions of unrest and occupation, such as Donbas or Crimea.

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