The River Wailed Like a Wounded Beast

On June 6, 2023, Russian troops blew up the dam of the Kakhovka hydroelectric station reservoir, flooding dozens of villages and three nature reserves on the Ukrainian steppe. On March 22, 2024, during yet another missile attack on Ukraine, Russian missiles hit the Dnipro hydroelectric station, leading to the pollution of the Dnipro River and damaging the power plant’s dam (for the first time since the Second World War).

These two episodes – just a small part of the tragic series of events Ukraine and Europe are facing – compel us to reexamine the origins of contemporary energy infrastructure, its connection to environmental crimes and totalitarian regimes of the past.

The construction of a cascade of hydroelectric stations on the Dnipro River and its cinematic representation offers us a look at the dark side of Soviet modernization with its “subjugation of nature” narrative, continued in the colonial ideology of present-day Russia.

The River Wailed Like a Wounded Beast
 

1. Dovzhenko Centre, Kyiv Biennial, Kyiv, Ukraine. October 3 — December 27, 2023

Curators: Alona Penzii, Stanislav Bytiutskyi, Oleksandr Teliuk
Project coordination (Kyiv Biennial): Serhii Klymko
Project manager: Avgusta Samoilichenko
Head of Museum of cinema: Olena Honcharuk
Architecture of the exhibition space: Oleksandr Burlaka
Exhibition design: Lera Guievska
Project communications: Mariia Hlazunova, Oleh Olifer
Editing and translation: Olesia Kamyshnykova
Working with archival documents and preparation of exhibits: Vasylyna Polianska
Preparation and delivery of film copies for the parallel program: Film Fund staff
Film scanning: Oleksandr Bertman
Museum support: Maryna Skyrda
Composer: Oleksii Podat
Technical support: Stanislav Holtvanychenko
Preparation of exhibition space, installation of the exhibition: Yurii Babaryka, Yurii Belkovets, Oleksandr Shcholokov
Exhibition space administrator: Liliia Miniailenko, Anastasiia Kyrylova
Partners: Institute of Archaeology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Central State Audiovisual and Electronic Archive, Ukraine War Archive, Mystetskyi Arsenal
Media partners: Suspilne Culture, The Village, Don’t Take Fake

II. Dnipro Center for Contemporary Culture / DCCC, Dnipro, Ukraine, April 4 — June 30, 2024

Curators: Aliona Penzii, Oleksandr Teliuk, Stanislav Bytiutskyi
Project coordination from the Dnipro Center for Contemporary Culture: Andrii Palash
Project coordination from the Kyiv Biennial: Serhii Klymko
Project coordination from the Dovzhenko Center: Avhusta Samoilichenko
Exhibition design: Lera Guievska
Project communications: Mariia Hlazunova, Oleh Olifer, Alina Stamenova
Editing and translation: Olesia Kamyshnykova
Composer: Oleksii Podat
Technical support: Oleksii Pereverzev, Mykhailo Tarabarkin, Oleksii Drubych
Preparation of exhibition space, installation of the exhibition: Olena Misiura
Exhibition space administrator: Anna Maslova
Thanks to Olena Honcharuk, Oleksandr Burlaka
Partners: Institute of Archaeology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Central State Audiovisual and Electronic Archive, Ukraine War Archive
The exhibition in Dnipro was created in cooperation between the Kultura Medialna NGO, the Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Center and the Center for Visual Culture, with the financial support of the Danish Cultural Institute and the New Democracy Fund.

 

III. Kunstraum Kreuzberg / Bethanien, Kyiv Biennial, Berlin, Germany. May 2 — May 20, 2024

Curators: Alona Penzii, Stanislav Bytiutskyi, Oleksandr Teliuk
Project coordination: Vasyl Cherepanyn, Serge Klymko
Architecture of the exhibition space: Oleksandr Burlaka
Exhibition design: Lera Guievska
Director Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien: Stéphane Bauer
Programme coordination: Sofía Pfister
Production: Kristoffer Holmelund
The project has been created in cooperation between the Visual Culture Research Center / Kyiv Biennial and the Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre on the occasion of Kyiv Perennial in Berlin with the support of Teiger Foundation.

 

team-member

Stanislav Bytyutskyi, Aliona Penzii, Oleksandr Teliuk

Curators