What is the project?

A project reflecting on cultural celebration, confrontation and transformation, through visual imagery in Eastern Ukraine & Belfast.

Northern Ireland and Ukraine are processing longterm effects of historical conflict on divided communities. Visual images tell stories for communities and support myths and dreams: they express senses of identity and provoke actions; unite people and regions and separate them; generate communal pride, perpetuate fear, stir riot and worse; and they are signposts to hope and transformation.

1) This project will consider communities’ visual images and symbols adopted from the past; explore historical and cultural contexts of conflicts in regions of the world; and provide a self-reflection opportunity.

2) The project will capture some new visual expressions of identity that are being created in our community life and communal spaces. It will ask if, in the creation processes, community dialogue and collaborative actions can be generated that help to bridge cultural divides?

3) Project artists will create work in Eastern Ukraine in September 2015 and in Belfast in October.

4) Further intentions are that the relationship between IZOLYATSIA and Beat Carnival will continue in 2016 and that other opportunities for artists to exchange between the two countries will be generated from this initial project.

*The images may be any works of visual art, such as photography and film, street art, installation and intervention art, audiovisual works, mural panels, sculpture, architectural and graphic design, temporary constructions such as peace/war lines, celebratory banners and street arches, and performances and parades in public spaces.

Two 2015 events:

• Ukraine 20 – 27 September. Project launch and collaborative artwork in an Eastern Ukraine city

• Belfast 12 – 17 October. Artwork and/or exhibition in Belfast. Why?

The project partner organisations are part of local communities that are affected by past/ongoing conflict and by culture that is used to divide people as well as to strengthen identities of territories. We want to reflect upon visual images, symbols and identities born Reflections of Eastern Ukraine & Belfast out of the communities’ conflicts.

We believe that artistic approaches can assist creative, transformative processes in community dialogue.

We want to produce art that contributes to breadth of vision, enriched individual and community life and forward momentum for our societies that have suffered the destructive effects of conflict. Through the project, we want artists/community participants to have

  • gained knowledge on cultural identities of other communities
  • explored cultural contexts of conflicts in other regions of the world
  • participated in developmental cultural activities, creating new artistic expressions. Through the project, the partner organisations will have discovered new working practises and methodologies
  • worked with new artists and community participants from both places
  • enabled the production and of new visual artwork and its presentation and dissemination to new audiences
  • built a long-term relationship for collaboration.


  • Artists and communities in interface / conflict zones, UA & NI.
  • Arts community of IZOLYATSIA Cultural Platform, from Donetsk, now based in Kiev (artists and creatives focused around IZOne and IZOLAB) and artists and communities in Mariupol, a city in East of Ukraine.
  • Artists and communities associated with / recruited by Beat Carnival in Belfast, targeting visual artists and young creative activists and Beat’s neighbourhood of Greater Shankill.


Operate the project through

  • the project parter network databases and new invitations,
  • the resources (e.g. people, skills, equipment and spaces) of the partner organisations
  • collaborative relationships between the two places,
  • information gathering with learning and exchange on similar issues from the different places and experiences,
  • joint artistic activity on the theme,
  • international visibility with television/online dissemination of documentation and work, showcase events and exhibition.