Monday 24 June 2019

Mini Tour

To Battle

Wednesday 19 June 2019

Monday 17 June 2019

Research Supervision with Lisa

Memories, gaps, big and small places, PTSD,
Holodomor and Chernobyl, writing, pieces,
final thesis, delivery, digital versions,
exhibition at Shandy Hall, musical flourishes,
Simon’s drawing - Scriabin, melodies, a playlist
for running, interviews, Mr. Jones, 5 interviews,
documentation in St. Petersberg, drawings of
books, talking, organising books, marketing,

Monday 10 June 2019

Babi Yar

This is one of the most incredible,
disturbing, and rare books I have ever
read. The Ukrainian name, for the same
place is Babyn Yar, it's a deep ravine
in the North of Kyiv, I visited when I
was there, the first Saturday of my
summer trip, I went to pay my
respects, it was the site of terrible
crimes, murders, all of the Jewish
population in Kyiv were killed there
when the Nazis occupied Kyiv in the second
world war, the Jewish population, has
never recovered. I hated it, as soon as I
got out of the Metro, I wanted to leave, I
forced myself to stay, a lot of the park
has been landscaped now and I consider its
important, for people to visit, and also, I
have thought a lot, about the authenticity
and gut feeling, of just completely hating
a place and all it represents, and in a
way the purity of those feelings although its
sickening and almost impossible to feel.
There is something sinister about the place
people still live there, it was the site of a
former mental hostipal, before the Nazis
invaded. This book is really horrific,
brutal, there are images still in my mind, one
in particular, about the way bodies were
towered up, with women’s hair on the
outside, to set fire to. There was one
point in particular, when I got really upset,
the book got into my dreams, I have acitvely
visualing this material, it was, and is, my
mind, I did the visualising. I want to give it
back now, it’s a rare copy, I found it
by chance at MMU All Saints Library. The
text is all written (under a psydonym,
originally) by a man who was a young boy
in Kyiv, and just escaped, the army,
enlisting, and the soldiers, a lot of times. It
is written originally, from his perspective
and then it was censored. I noticed, and
checked too, my reactions to the censors
voice in this copy. The material removed by
the censor has been re-added, in bold, and
there are parts early on when I had to
consider, why certain parts were removed,
to do with the presentation of a Soviet ideal,
other parts are really obvious. There is
also, additions, after the original publication.
The author reflecting back, on himself, as
he wrote it, and adding context. So three
voices, the original authors voice, the
censor, or voice of the state, and then the
author looking back, all in the same voice. I
looked at Bakhtin, for ideas about dialogue
and voices, in literature, I found something
about an invisible voice, where a character
is spoken to and is visible only through the
text addressed to him / her, not directly.
The censors voice is interesting in Soviet
literature because to publish was, and is, a
story too of the material. Life and Fate, for
example, is so raw and energised, because
it is so unedited. Large parts of the
text loop around and if it had been
edited, to remove the repetitions, it would
have lost its impact.
Here’s my drawing

Last week, I read Rebecca Solnit, on the
Guardian and the article I read is about the
power of voice, empowered, silence, and
quiet, and the difference - she says quiet
is chosen, and to an extent (or for her
purposes) silence is, or can be imposed. I
want to explore this more. Partly because
of the silences after Holodomor, and
because of what I saw in London, when
a lady at a talk spoke about Holodomor
and Chernobyl. The voice, and also many
voices, for example, Svetlana Alexievich, she
uses chorus’s and also ploy - poly-voices,
a book to represent, many voices. And her
voice, the author.

Sunday 9 June 2019

Ulana Khomyuk

I have finished watching Chernobyl,
all the reviews are absolutely,
correct, this is one, if not the, most
brilliant piece of television I have
ever watched. When I was
reading Serhii Plokhy’s book, my
mind so often, I was seeing this from
an outside, my, the world’s
view and the programme is so
closed, almost claustrophobic,
insular, everything is told from the
inside, Ulana Khomyuk, I didn’t
recognise here, all the way through,
I was thinking of Svetlana Alexievich,
she is from Belarus, a representation,
of voices, monologues, and
dialogues, I am writing about this,
fictional and truth, many
voices, and censorship, Soviet
publishing, and the voice of the
author, I got cold chills at the
end. Auto-ethnographic research,
Bakhtin, a dialogue (invisible
voices, when a character isn’t
there, is absent, a form of absent
dialogue. I am thinking about
Chernobyl Prayer, and how
Alexievich reveals herself,
subtely, with, and in relationship
to, her characters. My question

to Serhii Plokhy was about truth, how
is it possible, there is data, how
is it possible, to make and find a
truth from statistics, and then,
how can I find the poetic, and
human, from, and within it, his
reponse, is to compare material
from a range of sources, and for the
human, find people, record and

Cold War
This is the book I have been
reading, it’s about art and fictions,
an absolute truth, and artists
responses to the period of the
cold war.
Photo essay

Saturday 8 June 2019


I am two-fifths of the way through
watching the phenomenal Chernobyl,
on Sky / HBO, I first heard about
it at a talk by Serhii Plokhy,
at the excellent, British Library,
I have heard, and read, so much
about it this week, the reviews
are fantastic. Some of the sries is
based directly on Svetlana
Alexievichs accounts in Chernobyl
Prayer. I love the production design,
the sense of the insular-ness when
the world, and Sweden find out, is
told purely from the point of view
of the officials in Ukraine, almost
claustrophic. I love the audio,
and especially, the use of language,
untranslated as the residencys of
Pripyat are evacuated, the feeling, of
not knowing, completely, what is
Here is the link of NowTV
An pictre essay I have just seen on
the Guardian, and I have a

This is Serhii Ploky's book, phenomenal,
I read this in Cyprus, I have interviews
him after his talk, and I gave him my
drawing, I included this in my presentation
at the IMF. As I was leaving, I realised
my recording timecode is exactly 1:23,
it’s the title of the first HBO Series, and
the exact time of the explosion at Chernobyl.
I have, and I am, reading Rebecca Solnit
again too, I read ‘Lost’ in 2019, and I
am interested in her material on the
Guardian about voice and silence. At
Serhii Plokhy’s talk, a lady in the
audience asked a question, she was in
Kyiv when the explosion in Chernobyl
happened, she also had a link between
Chernobyl and Holodomor, and, an idea
about space, and Ukraine being used by the
Soviet authorities in Moscow. I have my
interview, truth, voice.