Khrystyna Bunii is an activist and archivist based in Nadvirna, Hutsulshchyna, an ethnic region of western Ukraine. Hutsul people are a semi-nomadic cross border ethnic group living in the Prut river valley and around Chornohora mountain range in the Ukrainian Carpathians. Throughout regular field trips she engages with personal archives and scans photographs from inhabitants of Hutsul villages. Additionally, she looks into various visual online archives and researches historical audio recordings. She shares her research through exhibitions, on Instagram at instagram.com/carpathiancult/, and on Soundcloud at soundcloud.com/carpathiancult.
Bunii is primarily a solo traveler, and is not affiliated with any institution, nor does she follow academic requirements for her research. Traversing her home region, Bunii’s methodology favours face-to-face encounters. These meetings take the form of a cultural exchange, and create interconnections, with Buni able to make links between people and groups that would be invisible without the archive. She regularly finds herself persuading people of the value of their photographs and of a shared cultural record.
About the talk:
Bunii will speak about her practice in the context of self-identification and ways of relating to one’s own culture and locale. Through stories and excerpts from her photographic archives, she will consider both the history of Hutsul culture and her own position within it. As a transnational ethnic group that has often been subjected to larger political forces, Hutsul modes of living and self-identification have regularly diverged from the fatigued concepts of national borders and citizenship, an attitude which Bunii reflects in her practice. As such, she will also speculate on radical modes of cohabitation based on communal values in the rural areas at the times of global urbanisation, climate crisis and migration from native lands.
This event is organised by Marta Hryniuk as part of artist’s film & research project on contested borders and re-imagining places of belonging/co-existence beyond nation states based on a historical example of Eastern Galicia.
Kindly supported by CBK Rotterdam.