The Kmytiv Experiment: How to Speak With the Soviet Past?

Public discussion with the authors of the project “The Kmytiv Museum of Soviet Art, Named After I.D. Bukhanchuk”.



artist, author of the project “The Kmytiv Museum of the Soviet Art”


art historian, art manager, member of the initiative “DE NE DE”, author of the project “The Kmytiv Museum of the Soviet Art”


cultural historian, director of the Memorial Museum of the Totalitarian Regimes “Territory of Terror”


doctor of Philosophy, professor in the Department of Philosophy of the Odesa I.I. Mechnikov National University

2019 saw a unique experiment unfold, when Ukrainian artists and art historians suggested to transform the Kmytiv Museum of Fine Art named after I. D. Bukhanchuk, based in a small village of Kmytiv in Zhytomyr oblast, into a focal point of working through the Soviet past. Not a space for senseless admiration or bitter accusation, but for genuine working through the past.

The project is finished, but it managed to create quite a turmoil. It brought to the surface many problematic areas of the Ukrainian cultural space, identified painful issues, and showed potential paths for change. Together with the authors of the experiment we tried to understand, what it was: a final sentence or an opening of a new direction, victory or defeat.

The event took place on February 20, 2020, at Impact Hub Odesa.