Black Sea. Terraces everywhere. Swimming. Art. Terraces. Family party. Vodka. Food. Granny’s dancing. Terraces. Cocktails. Streets, squares, parks. Dreams. Terraces. Streets. Port. Beach. Sun. Family house dacha. Champagne. Friends. Ping-Pong. Vodka. Vodka. Food. Amazing.
Izolyatsia provided us with some interesting lectures. One was about symbolic violence. Brigitte Piquard, professor at Oxford Brookes University, worked in several conflict zones such as in Colombia and the Palestinian city Hebron. She is researcher and lecturer on the topic of Symbolic Violence.
Symbolic violence is defined as a “soft, insensible, form of violence, exercised mainly by purely symbolic channels of communication and knowledge“ (Pierre Bourdieu).
During my second stay in Mariupol I had small interviews with people on the street. The participants were asked about what they like the best about Mariupol and what they like the worst.
To join the survey was easy. Three red stickers for negative aspects. And three green ones for positive.
Not an artist. Not some teenagers being bored. Not a social designer wanting to do good.
Just a group of women living in the apartments made a place to remember. They really made my day. They made their own days also. Every day. With laughter, energy, talking and some cognac.
We are standing on a cross point in the eastern part of Mariupol, about 8 km out of the centre. Here is the edge of town. Here the meadows start, that at a certain point will become the battle front.
The driver is joking: ‘What shall we do? Back to the hotel? Or prefer going to Russa? Russia is closer.’
I have been called a spy quite a few times in the suburbs. People not knowing what I was doing. Especially when I was taking pictures. The older generation does not understand our project. And maybe they are not very interested either. At least they will not talk to a spy… And no of course I was not allowed to take a picture of them. I am sorry.
Nobody saw this war coming. Nobody was prepared for it. But now that it is there, a lot of information can be found. For example the website https://liveuamap.com/ where there is constant update of military or international political developments. So every day few hours check my email, my facebook, and my favourite war-website…
The front line is not very far away. The last few weeks it was pretty quiet in this region, but yesterday there were some fights again. A soldier was killed, the website says by showing the blue face. I will never get used to this.
Good toe see extra activities being organised this summer in Mariupol. It’s not always easy to enjoy life here. The famous Ukrainian singer Mariana Sadovska performed in the City park. Top level melancholy.
There we are, in the most eastern part of town. Some kind of war tourism. This is the place where the shelling was, last January. Civilians were killed. Houses were damaged. All of these windows were broken. Mainly I am quiet. I don’t feel capable of starting a nice conversation here.
10 rooms from the Mariupol city hall, the local dom sovietov which was bombed by the separatists of Donetsk People’s Republic last year.
This year is different, the blackened ruins are standing in the middle of the city in the peaceful summer silence, waiting for their uncertain future together with the citizens of mariupol.