“Alevtina Kakhidze’s personal experiences growing up in the Ukraine and witnessing the country’s tumultuous history, including the recent brutal attacks, provide a profound backdrop for her remarkable work. The 360° format immerses viewers in the harsh realities of war juxtaposed by the resilience of life by shedding light on a lesser-known war between invasive plants. The jury recognizes the physical and ethical challenges faced by the artist and her team during the production as they worked in recently liberated locations marred by ruins and victims, while grappling their own emotional vulnerability as witnesses to the events they’ve capture. The film is a testament to the power of art to document and illuminate the complex realities of war and its profound impact on both individuals and communities.”Jury Statement
Ukrainian artist Alevtina Kakhidze meets with friends in Irpin, Muzychi and Mostyshche. Thanks to the 360-degree format, the reality of the Russia–Ukraine War becomes manifest in every square inch: on the left are a destroyed bridge and houses, on the right are playing children, a happy dog Chuck and a freshly planted seedbed. In the film, Alevtina’s clothes change from mourning to festive, and in the end, she is in the kitchen wearing her casual house clothes, preparing dinner made from the occupying plants. Her walk with a Kyiv scientist-botanist sheds light on another war in Ukraine—between plants.
Alevtina Kakhidze is a multidisciplinary artist investigating complex issues ranging from consumerism to plant culture, and feminism to life in conflict zones. She is based in Muzychi, Ukraine, twenty-six kilometers from the capital, Kyiv. Brought up in the Donetsk region of Ukraine, she has experienced Ukraine’s abrupt and chaotic changes from the days of the USSR to the present imbalanced environment, including the undeclared war between Russia and Ukraine.
Kakhidze attended the National Academy of Fine Art and Architecture in Kyiv (1999–2004) and the Jan van Eyck Academy in the Netherlands (2004–2006). She has been the United Nations Tolerance Envoy in Ukraine since 2018 and was awarded the Women in Arts award by HeForShe in 2023, the Kazimir Malevich Artist Award 2008 and the first prize of the Competition for Young Curators and Artists, Kyiv, Center for Contemporary Art at NaUKMA in 2002.
Commissioned by Manifesta 14 and Kosovo, 2022
Idea: Alevtina Kakhidze
Script and direction: Alevtina Kakhidze, Piotr Armianovski
Camera and editing: Piotr Armianovski
Sound editing: Serhii Kulbachnyi
Music: Maksym Shalyhin
Performers: Alevtina Kakhidze, Alexander Krolikowski,
Oleksii Kovalenko, Anatol Stepanenko, Tamara Hryhorivna
Support received from Manifesta 14