What is a city? Piled bricks? Asphalt? Trees? Or the people who live there? And their activities? Or maybe history?
Since the separatists have taken over a part of Ukraine a massive movement of people has happened. Donetsk for example was a real university city with several big old universities. Since the occupation they simply went away, to among others Vinnytsia en Krasnoarmiysk.
Hospitals have been evacuated, both patient and personnel. Soccer teams have been replaced to the other side of the country. And almost all art institutes have moved to Kiev, forced and unforced.
When you a place for maybe three or six months you are a visitor. You don’t unpack everything, because you will go back. But when times are passing by, you will make new roots, and new connections or relationships. And that is what is happening now with all this social and cultural organisations as well. And it is questionable if they will ever return, even if the war would be over in a few months.
Cultural platform Izolyatsia has been banned by the separatists of ‘Donetsk People Republic’ from their beautiful factory complex in Donetsk. Interesting detail: in the beginning when they were chased away to Kiev, Izolyatsia said they were ‘in exile’. About one your later they changed their position to ‘being nomadic’. And Izolyatsia is not the only organisation who reacts like that. The cities are moving a few hundred kilometres. The organisations move. Some people move with it. And so the city moves.