Translating Transition
This fall for the second time project Pause/Play: Culture under Pressure* gathered artists and cultural practitioners based in Armenia, Georgia and Germany, as well as professionals who have had to leave their home countries due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and political repressions in Belarus.
The project included online and offline lectures, presentations, and QA sessions with international speakers and mentors, followed by lab and public events, including an open discussion "Art Communities on the Move", a discussion on decolonization through the art scene, presentation & conversation on funding opportunities for art & cultural projects and others.
The online educational module led by international art practitioners was designed around learning and exchanging knowledge and experience on digital technologies for artistic practices. It inspired participants to use new digital tools (VR, Blockchain, AR, and AI) and platforms in their projects, narratives, and concepts.
Mentors and speakers of the educational program
"The project main mission is to help those who had to escape the countries due to political reasons. The project is helping to get to these grounds, to discuss, to get to the dialogue"
"... to introduce participants into new media, occupiing this new virtual space as a safe place - to expand possibilities"
"We trying to talk about decolonization and integrating artists who have experienced migration"
"... to continue collaboration, to continue talking about issues we are dealing with"
" now here together in one ground"
" may artists adress important questions to the society"
Lectures by invited experts introduced participants to current tools for implementing decentralized art projects of any complexity.
The program was not limited to just classes. In extend to the project work and group activities we had a tour to Kond district and visited Tumo Studios.
Alexandra Goloborodko
Project initiator and program director

"We think that it is important for representatives of different cultural initiatives, artists and curators to talk about their experiences, stories and methodologies on how to adapt to the new realities or to fight against them."
The culmination of the program was an exhibition Translating Transition at Goethe Center in Yerevan.

The process of translation entails finding the correct way to convey meaning from one language to another. The title, both metaphorically and in practice alludes to the perpetual need to discover new methods of translation to adapt to the evolving circumstances of life in exile, particularly for those who recently had to leave their homes due to political and geopolitical reasons. People who were forced to leave their home countries, to cut a lot of both professional and personal ties are facing the challenges of the need to "translate" not only the language and new cultural semiotic system into everyday life as immigrants but also to make everyday efforts to get to know and comprehend the otherness, to integrate into the new cultural context and social structures and to reevaluate their own identity in these new circumstances. The projects presented at the exhibition primarily reflect or are influenced by the struggles and the process of discovering new grounds and means to forge fresh ties and get new meanings. The exhibition consists of the art projects realized by participants of the project Pause/Play: Culture under Pressure from the previous year as well as work-in-progress projects from the current year.
The presented art works were in completely different mediums and formats, but they have one thing in common - all projects are filled with acute experiences, reflection of what is happening now in the history of countries and the personal history of each.
by Oleksii Chumak & Olya Makhno - A dual performance captured on video, exploring the isolation and loneliness that comes with life-altering experiences
by Gray Cake (Katya Pryanik, Alexander Serechenko), and Anna Ghazaryan - Traditional carpet patterns meet modern technology, blending history with innovation.
by Anton Alter - Speculation on a metaphysical layer challenging our world, where misinformation and negativity spread globally.
"Dumb as a fish"
by Serafima Truevtseva - An exploration of the feeling of emigration through new languages and chaotic words
"Dreamscapes of Alternative History"
by Diana Meyerhold & Anastasia Marochkina - Step into alternative worlds and witness contemporary historical events from the heart of the action.
"Everyday Life of Military Service Documents"
by Anna Mariia Filippova - Unravel the interconnection between war, militarism, and masculinity through personal military service documents.
"Urban Dialogue"
by COBALT urban think-tank - An architectural model of Yerevan becomes a platform for dialogue and preservation of our architectural heritage.
"Growing Homelessness"
by Lena Holub - Explore the relationships between humans and plants in a changing world, a reflection of home and displacement.
"Whispered Shouts"
by Nino Khundadze and Eagle - A web platform for sharing personal experiences and voices in a world that suppresses them.
"ան.ժամանակ / time:less"
by Otar (Narek Buniatyan) - A sonic journey through challenging times, using folk music samples to explore cultural resistance.
by Hanna Palei and Natallia Trenina - An educational art platform that transforms lives and communities through the power of art.
"Lost and Found Bureau"
by Maria Kremer - Contribute to a digital archive of collective memories, where the stories of those who've lost or left their homes.
"The Library of Dreams"
by Jane Rzheznikova - Virtual reality experience, videoart, 2022 (Ongoing) - The Library of Dreams is an artistic documentary project focused on the study of dreams during the periods of the Second World War in Germany, the USSR, and modern Russia.
by Elena Slobtseva and tmp_space collective - Screen-based presentation, 2023 - In the fall of 2022, a horizontal initiative and an art gallery Tmp_space was launched in Batumi, Georgia, aimed at fostering collaborative activities among artists and individuals passionate about contemporary art.
"The Translating Transition exhibition is in a way a public extension of the laboratory that took place during the program, and we see it as an attempt to initiate communication - whether it's a conversation or a dialogue, or in some cases an intimate monologue - about the struggles and the ongoing process of re-evaluation of self-identification and the search for ways of integration into new circumstances of life in exile."

Anna Titovets Intektra, Exhibition curator
* Pause/Play: Culture under Pressure is curated and organized by Kulturschafft e. V. and CSN Lab, Yerevan, in partnership with Untitled Tbilisi, with financial support from the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.