Saturday 26 February 2022

Nurses Not Nukes, Ukrainian Literature and Petryshyn Memorial Lecture.

Today I have been standing in solidarity with Ukraine.
I took part in a CND campaign organised by West
Yorkshire CND. This was CND piggybacking an existing
campaign for SOS NHS. CND’s campaign is Nurses
Not Nukes
to encourage spending on NHS rather than
nuclear weapons. My campaign is piggybacking on
CND’s work. My slogan for my banner reads
Слава Україні. This translates as Glory to Ukraine.
This is about me declaring my support and
solidarity with Ukrainian justice, freedom. This is
about protecting a country, its national identity,
its people, its physical locations, geographies,
maps, borders and boundaries. This is also about
freedom of speech. It is about Ukraine as a rich,
cultural, independent state. It is about my work,
it is about Holodomor, it is about raising
awareness of Soviet relationships with Ukraine
throughout history, it is about everything I believe
and stand for and I have learnt in my work and my
research, about Ukraine, about the people I meet
and work with. It is about me contributing my
voice to protecting something I believe in and love.

Nurses Not Nukes Demonstration, organised by West
Yorkshire CND, 2022. Source: Author.

Banner Designs: Слава Україні, 2022. Source: Author.

    This week before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine I
recommended a reading list of Ukrainian materials to
Huddersfield University library. This from a long
list of nine has a short list of four. My first is
A Loss – The Story of a Dead Soldier Told by His Sister.
This is by Olesya Khromeychuk who I follow on
Twitter. My second and third books are both from
Osnovy Publishing, a Kyiv based publisher. This
is Kateryna, a poem by Taras Shevchenko,
national legend in Ukraine for writing in Ukrainian.
With illustrations by Nikolai Tolmachov. This is one
of very few translations of Shevchenko’s work into
English. Also by Osnovy Publishing is The Timeless
Way of Building
. This is a Ukrainian translation
of an architectural text by Christoper Alexander.
My final book on my shortlist is The Frontline: Essays
on Ukraine’s Past and Present
by Serhii Plokhy, available on
Kindle. This is new literature exploring Ukrainian
histories, personal stories, publishing and contemporary
visual works in Ukraine and architectural writings.
Librarians at Huddersfield are going to try to
order my complete longlist of nine.

Kateryna by Taras Shevchenko, Illustrations by
Nikolai Tolmachov, 2018. Source: Osnovy Publishing,

    My video recommendation for Ukrainian histories
is the Petryshyn Memorial Lecture in Ukrainian Studies
for 2022. This is an annual lecture by Ukrainian
Research Institute Harvard University. This is an
analysis of Ukraine’s history as normal, conventional
and where it conforms to type. Parts and where
Ukraine’s history are exceptional, unusual and
different and parts where Ukraine’s histories, borders
and boundaries follow a natural and very
normal in historical terms, pattern of conflict, or
repressions, of protection and historical journeys.
This lecture is by Timothy Snyder. Its title
is Ukraine: A Normal Country. As at 26 February
this movie online has 21,858 views. Introductions
are by Serhii Plokhy, Director Ukrainian Research
Institute, Harvard University. Moderation is by
Emily Channell-Justice, Director, Temerty Contemporary
Uraine Program, HURI, Harvard University. Viewing
figures for this work show interest and
appreciation in Ukraine’s history from an analytical,
political and academic point of view. This was a
really really brilliant lecture, total running time is
1 hour 37 minutes.

Petryshyn Lecture: Timothy Snyder, 2022. Source:
HURI Ukrainian Research Institute Harvard University.


HURI Ukrainian Research Institute Harvard University (2022) Petryshyn Lecture: Timothy Snyder [Online video], 18 February. Available from: <> [Accessed 26 February 2022].

TLS (n.d.) A Loss – The Story of a Dead Soldier Told by His Sister [Online]. London: TLS. Available from: <> [Accessed 26 February 2022].

Osnovy (n.d.) Kateryna [Online]. Kyiv: Osnovy. Available from: <> [Accessed 26 February 2022].

Osnovy (n.d.) The Timeless Way of Building [Online]. Kyiv: Osnovy. Available from: <> [Accessed 26 February 2022].

HURI Books (2022) The Frontline [Online]. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University. Available from: <> [Accessed 26 February 2022].

Saturday 19 February 2022

Participants’ Packs, The Holodomor in Global Perspective and Jerry Berman’s Letters.

I have created, collated and distributed participants’
packs for Recipes for Baking Bread. These are for all
interviewees involved in my films. Jerry Prytulak,
Serhii Plokhy, Philip Colley, Daria Mattingly. I hand
delivered packs for Alison Marshall and Reverend Fr
Volodymyr Sampara in September 2021 and January 2022.
These images show documentation of my postal packs
this month. This is using a pop up studio at work. I love
this set up and this is my first time using it. I created
brilliant quality images in a short space of time
using my mobile phone camera. It has been brilliant
connecting with participants for this project again. Some of
this work appears in a new light as a result of
current Ukraine-Russian conflicts. For example maps I
created showing Gareth Jones’ journey below.
Belgorod is one place where Russian troops are now
collecting. This is within walking distance from Kharkiv.

Participants’ Packs, 2022. Source: Author.

Participants’ Packs, 2022. Source: Author.

Participants’ Packs, 2022. Source: Author.

Participants’ Packs, 2022. Source: Author.

Gareth Jones’ Walking Route 1932, 2021. Source: Author.

I have submitted a paper for The Holdomor in
Global Perspective
. This conference runs in June at
The University of Cambridge. Organisers are Daria
Mattingly and John Vsetecka. My paper title is
Recipes for Baking Bread: Stories from Holodomor. I am
exploring truth, poetry with relation to Rilke, Rumi and
Brecht and stories from my short films. I am
focusing on two stories in particular. Gareth Jones’
walking routes, maps I use to document his experiences
as described by Philip Colley in my interviews. I
am exploring Jerry Berman’s letters. This collection of
writing as archives. This paper will be a brilliant
opportunity to meet with scholars exploring work from

Grossman Everything Flows [Forever Flowing], 2021. Source:


Ukraine is in mainstream news and I am following stories.
British ministers have visited Kyiv. This includes
Liz Truss Foreign Secretary and her visit to the Holodomor
Museum this week. An image below shows Truss and Dmytro
Kuleba Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine inside
museum galleries. Both ministers here are with a
collection and display of Berman’s letters. This is a
project I established in September
2021 with independent writer Alison Marshall and
curator Yana Grinko. This work was subject of my
fifth films exploring Berman’s letters.

Liz Truss and Dmytro Kuleba with Jerry Berman’s letters
at the Holodomor Museum, 17 February 2022. Source:
Twitter: @DmytroKuleba

Recipes for Baking Bread: Jerry Berman’s Letters from Sara Nesteruk on Vimeo.

Sunday 13 February 2022

Film, Film, Film

I have had a brilliant week of film thanks to my
participation in HOME artists film Lab. This has been a
brilliant experience to connect with others and talk
about my practice. I was one of 15 artists selected for
this programme at HOME in Manchester, run by Jamie
Allan and Alice Wilde. On Wednesday I went to a
screening of work by Parham Ghalamdar. These were
intricate and delicate animations produced during
lockdown. On Friday I was part of a showreel
screening of work. The Accident appeared on HOME cinema
screens. It was amazing to see my work on a big screen
and I have been getting feedback and questions about
this work. It has been brilliant to reconnect with this
film and to talk about it. On Friday evening I went to
a screening of South. This is a film from 1919 by Frank
Hurley. A documentary film cut and edited into
narrative sequences. This is original footage from
Shackleton’s journey to Antarctica. This trip and film
documents Shackleton’s lost voyage on the Discovery.
I have wanted to see this film footage for years and it
was incredible to see this on a big screen. As a bonus
these is a whole section of documentary style wildlife
footage. This is by Hurley on South Georgia.
It includes rare species of animals and these it is
possible were not screened filmed before Hurley’s
footage. This has been a whole weekend of inspiration,
conversations, dialogue and practice.

The Accident on big screens at HOME, Manchester, 2022.
Source: Artist.


    One focus is exploring conditions and creative productivity.
I have a graph of my three films. Between each film
I plotted creativity on my y-axis, creative fulfillment
and time on my x-axis. After reflection on this I am
changing my objectives. Rather than intense highs and
extreme lows in productivity I am now aiming for a
gentle upward curve. I want to find a form of
equanimity where highs and lows balance and create
a smoother graph. This was a brilliant exercise.
I love graphs and mapping and it has been fascinating
to see a visual document of my film journey. Saturday
morning’s workshop was by artist April Lin 林森.
This was about access riders. I used my time to
map and create a documentation project for my
yellow notebooks. I have now 167 complete notebooks.
These are now discontinued from Rymans. My next
project is I am going to edit these 167 notebooks
into one notebook and rebind these pages. I am
going to include a catalogue. This is my Easter
project. It has been brilliant spending time in Manchester.
I spent Saturday night eating noodles in Northern
Quarter. I have inspiration and a lot of work about
practical conditions, how to create, find and map
inspiration, and what practical conditions lead to this
point and create inspiring experiences.

The Dhammapada: Film Inspiration Workshop, 2022.
Source: Artist.

Importance and Achievability Graphs: Sunday, 2022.
Source: Artist.

Creative Fulfillment Graphs, 2022. Source: Artist.

    Today I have been considering how to explore
distribution and working on new projects. Sunday
morning’s workshop was Cinecaravan with artists
Laura Taillefer Viñas, Luisa Mello, Atsushi Kuwayama,
Kopal Joshy and Jamie Allan’s work. This included
discussion on alternative distribution models. I
hadn’t considered this for Recipes for Baking Bread.
I have some brilliant ideas about how to connect
with Ukrainian audiences and smaller communities
with my films. Projects in this presentation included
discussion about literature, voice and script. This
was inspiring, I hadn’t and haven’t
considered relationships between reading, fiction,
voice, tone and truth in documentary and how to
create scripts. I’d love to do more work on this. This
morning I got up early and spent my first time in
MMU All Saints Library for two years. I am
re-writing my methodologies. I am adding
definitions of autoethnographic research and
strengthening everything with three key pieces of
literature by Adams & Holman Jones (2014),
Hughes & Pennington (2017) and a new book by
Poulos from 2021. This afternoon was a sound
walk, experiencing three visual shots and narratives
through sound. This reminded me of radio edits
and my start points for Recipes for Baking Bread.
Afterwards I spoke about Eisenstein’s work in
architecture and film. This exercise reminded me of
Eisenstein’s ideas of exploring Acropolis buildings in
Athens. Eisenstein’s ideas are a person walks around
these ancient buildings and experiences long shots,
wide shots, close ups and relationships between
visuals in a similar way to experiencing film.
Eisenstein describes differences between those
processes as a director presenting film to an audience
and in architecture a person walking round to experience
buildings from their own point of view.
(Eisenstein, 1991, p. 60). I’ve loved this
weekend. I have met some brilliant people and had a
lot of space to think and talk about my practice.
My leaving ideas are about growth and expansion,
where I take my practice. Things I do with my
work and a lot of space to be able to explore bigger
ideas and a bigger vision outside my everyday


Adams, T. Holman Jones, S. and Ellis, C. (2015) Autoethnography [Online]. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Available from: <> [Accessed 5 February 2022].

Eisenstein, S. M. [1937-1940] (1991) Selected Works / Vol. 2, Towards a Theory of Montage. Edited by M. Glenny and R. Taylor. Translated by M. Glenny. 2nd ed. London: British Film Institute.

Hughes, S. and Pennington, J. (2017) Autoethnography: Process, Product, and Possibility for Critical Social Research. California: Sage Publications.

Poulos, C. (2021) Essentials of Autoethnography. Washington: American Psychological Association.

Saturday 5 February 2022

Corrections: Meeting with Lisa and Simon

Friday 4th February,
Viva notes and corrections, ethics, methods and
auto-ethnographic research, citations and sources,
references to interviews, approaches, trust, Ukrainian
background and heritage, approaches to interviewing
people, ethics, practice, drawings, draw bibliographies,
changes, word counts, postcards, proof reading,
corrections and duplications, meanings, language,
next meetings, reading through changes, HOME
artists’ film lab, distribution, audiences,
cycles and loops, practice, result and outcomes,
viva defense, remaking literature reviews, significance
and context, finding language, Cyprus diagrams,
linking threads, corrections, practice diagrams.