[ISEA2023] Keynote: Viktor Ruban — Coping potential of creativity and art-practices in times of war: culture diplomacy, fundraising, curatorship and art-therapy force project


If symbiosis is an essential notion, it is even more so in today’s geopolitical context. War, terror and massive extinction of people in Ukraine by Russia is a global challenge shaping our global future at this very moment. In this situation performing artists in Ukraine keep on strong commitment to help in any possible way. Since the beginning of full-scale invasion in 2022
situation is forcing us to search for not only new ways of dealing with challenges creatively but to discover new ways of implementing our art practices and skills to completely new levels and spheres, like: resistance in information wars, culture ecology maintenance, new forms of fundraising and help with physical and psycho-emotional recovery same as military and civilians

During this session Viktor Ruban, will share information about part of initiatives that he initiated or is involved in, such as: European Culture Parliament and culture diplomacy challenges that he faces on different international events; Ukrainian emergency performing arts fund and funding challenges for independent scene of performing arts in Ukraine; international solidarity events and visibility of Ukrainian actual art scene – why it is important; actual creations in Ukraine and trends seen through the actual national theater prize season; and for the last part – about developing project for training “psychological first aid instructors for military from the front line” and Art therapy force project – range of activities implementing art-practices and work with creativity for psycho-emotional health recovery, coping with stress and panic attacks as well as preventing self-destructive behaviors and PTSD for diverse groups of people. It will be brief introduction of initiatives to map a range of implementations. Final part will be open for Q&A to go deeper into details about any of initiatives upon request of the audience.

  • Viktor Ruban (UKR) is choreographer-researcher, curator, performer, educator, independent culture diplomat and culture activist. Initiator and ambassador of Ukrainian Emergency Performing Arts Fund initiative, he represents Ukraine in European Culture Parliament. He is also program director and co-founder of Impulse of Transformation, independent international dance platform, an of venue #KyivDanceResidency – platform for international studies in somatic, dance and performative practices, movement-based art and research.  Ph.d. student in culture studies of Modern Art Research Institute of the National Academy of Arts (Kyiv, Ukraine)