An open call has been issued for urbanists, architects, and artists to spend four weeks in the Ukrainian "atomic city" of Slavutych, which was built after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. Participants of the “urban residency” will reflect on the city's historical development and the potential futures of its 14 districts.
The program is curated by METASITU, a research-based art practice founded by Strelka alumni Liva Dudareva and Eduardo Cassina. It is part of the collective’s 5th Festival of Film and Urbanism “86.”
Up to 14 participants will be chosen to travel to Slavutych, which was originally designed to rehouse workers at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and their families. As the open call states, “Slavutych is an ‘atomic city’ without a nuclear plant in sight.”
The participants will come face-to-face with the city’s unique districts. The first 10 districts were designed by architects from various Soviet Republics. Each district was named for their home cities – Baku, Tbilisi, Yerevan, Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius, Kiev, Leningrad, Moscow, and Belgorod. Three additional districts – Pechersky, Dobryninsky and Chernihivsky – were added in the 1990s.
The final district came in 2017, when a group of locals worked to make an artistic intervention in the form of a new district based on Athens.
But the city’s evolution isn’t over. Slavutych “is slowly leaving behind its identity of an atomic city,” according to the open call. As such, “creative practitioners” are being sought to travel to the city to reflect on its unique creation and form “new synergies with their immediate surroundings,” as well as among themselves.
In order to be considered, applicants must be familiar with one of the cities which Slavutych’s districts are named after. They will then focus on that particular district during their time in the city.
They will receive a travel stipend of up to €250, shared accommodation, paid meals, and a production budget of us to €200. Applicants must also submit a portfolio and a statement demonstrating their knowledge of their chosen district and their potential contribution there.
The deadline to apply is March 7. Full details can be found here.
The program is just of many events put on by METASITU, which was founded by Dudareva and Cassina with the aim of “establishing emancipatory narratives around the way we inhabit space.” In addition to urbanism festivals, the art practice – which is based in Ukraine and Greece – also directs educational programs, enables real estate transgressions, proposes workshops, and hosts lectures.
Text: Lynsey Free