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You are welcomed by the Centre of Cultural Development «Totem» from the city of Kherson, Ukraine. Since 1999 we have been working for social and cultural changes, for development of personality, community, society. Creative ideas and their skilful realization are two components of success of our public organization.

Now relevant

About the human dimension of war.

 

About the phenomenon of getting used to the war and its consequences, when people outside Ukraine get tired of war-related content, and people in Ukraine are forced to get used to and adapt to the new terrible reality.

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Exhibition

Kherson

Inside/Outside

 

We conduct creative dialogue, standing on the border between free Ukraine and the occupied land, between an understandable statement and a nervous breakdown, between art and attempts to destroy it.

We connect artworks created inside (in occupied Kherson) and outside (in emigration). Emigration is not a privilege; it is a compulsion and insecurity. Occupation is not a sentence; it is a space of resistance to preserve ourselves and our creative individuality.

The project has been exhibited in several regional centers of Ukraine since August 2022

Resistance

Destroying the historical fake

about so-called "Novorossiya"

 

The Northern Black Sea and Southern Ukraine still suffers from the echoes of the mythologized story about the civilizing role for these "wastelands" of the Russian empress Catherine II in the 18th century. Actually, the idea of ​​"Novorossiya" is based on this myth. However, modern Ukrainian archaeology provides real evidence that a well-developed centre of civilization stood on these lands as early as the XIV-XV  centuries.

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music video
DON'T TAKE ME OFF THE TREE

This song was born in 2018 as the leitmotif of the eponymous performance. The topic was multiculturalism of the South of Ukraine: we talked about our roots and gathered leaves from the tree of our history. In 2022 russian aggression brings a new meaning for this song.

theatre
SENDER UNKNOWN

The public gallery and museum of modernity at the same time. Things representing our time are collected here. Each exhibit was donated to this museum by ordinary people from Ukraine, Germany and Kyrgyzstan as part of the "Parcel from Abroad" project.

performance
RED LINE PROJECT

The "Red Line" project is an artistic study of urban space, but not only that. It is not only about external rules and regulations. This is about conscious self-limitations. Remember the terms of the quarantine: we have to keep our distance, we voluntarily agree to restrictions for the sake of common safety.

Until February 24, 2022, we all lived and worked in Kherson. Now the creative community of Kherson is divided into those who remained in the occupied city and those who managed to evacuate. However, the Centre for Cultural Development "Totem" continues to work and unite people. We hold our cultural front. We are the cultural resistance of the Ukrainian South.

Workshop

Zurich 2021: let’s talk about Polina Payko in comic language

 

The act of young artists` co-creation in dialogue with the artistic phenomenon of Polyna Raiko – unique naive artist from the Oleshky town of the Kherson Region. In Soviet times the old town was renamed to Tsyurupinsk (the youth said "Zurich"). As the result of our workshop with EU-based mentor Marlen Kraus (Berlin), comic magazine and exhibition were created. Unfortunately, most of the magazine's circulation remained in occupied Kherson, but we have an online version.

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Longtime project

Site-specific performances

 

“Body of artworks” is our bodies. During performances artists communicate using words or not. The main art product is photos/video but the process is important no less, because it gives us amazing filling of communication. Site-specific performances is the most sincere and honest way of communication with the space, time, people, with each other.

Every year

Totem Centre Theatre Lab

 

Was created in 2012 as an artistic group working at the combination of performing arts, journalist investigations and social sciences in such spheres as documentary theatre, oral history and public activities.

 

Specifics of our work is project approach. We do not conduct separately researches, we do not write just plays, we do not only stage theatrical performances, we are not engaged just in work with space and public. We realize projects which include all these parts – from search of a problem to its decision in the following chain: research-text-performance-presentation-discussion-advocating. Therefore, we have no repertoire. Therefore, we are a laboratory, but not theatre.

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TOTEM

CENTRE

THEATRE

LAB

Every year

Terra futura festival

 

The Terra Futura Festival began in 2002 as an outdoor experimental venue. The first festival was held in the village of Chernyanka, Kakhovka district, Kherson region - in the place where domestic futurism was born, where the Burliuk brothers lived and worked together with their guests at the beginning of the 20th century, among whom were those whom we know today as stars of avant-garde art

Land-art and archaeology: new synergy through the boundaries

The innovative project based on synergy of land-art and archaeology. The first case of such synergy we created in 2021: we organized the first international art-residence in archeological site “Tyagin fortress” in Kherson region, which is connects to history of the Great Duchy of Lithuania, Ukrainian Cossacks, and Crimean Tatars. This experiment showed the great potential to enhance dialog of science and art – in Tyagin archeology became a real co-creator and co-author for art.

 

From the other side, open-air art is good alternative for galleries and museums. It is the most eco-friendly art; it shares ideas of sustainable development and harmonic coexisting human and nature. Finally, land-art has its specific “language” to tell not about the nature only; it involves great public attention and forms real interest to the history.

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БІБЛІОТЕКА

Fashion game and calendar
Культурна мапа Херсону
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photo by the month

архів видатних подій

історія оранізації в подіях
October 2021
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Пост-індустріальна спадщина як мистецтво

Метою проекту була фіксація, переосмислення та мистецька трансформація постіндустріальної спадщини Херсона. Проект поєднував практики арт-ревіталізації та розвитку аудиторії.

August 2020
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Gogol fest.
Visual programm

In 2020 for the first time Kherson became the site of the largest festival of contemporary art in Ukraine – Gogolfest. This international multidisciplinary festival presented a number of programs: theatre, music, education, visual, performance.

November 2015
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Art-approach to dialog

Heroes is one of the most difficult and conflict topic in the society. Under changing circumstances the recognized at one time hero can become an antihero or go out into oblivion. Or other situation: the same character is perceived by different parts of the society as a hero and antihero simultaneously.

Desember 2014
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Art-route against violence in Kherson

Our artists and photographers created art-works on the issue of violence, in particular of gender-based violence. Then we exhibited these art-works in different locations of Kherson – library, theatre, cafe, central pedestrian street.

about us

Centre of Cultural Development “TOTEM”

is a voluntarily, independent, non-profitable public organization in Ukraine. Founders and members are united by desire to assist social and cultural progress for strengthening of civil society in Ukraine and increasing of level of its culture.

“TOTEM” started to work in 1996 as an initiative group; officially the organization was incorporated in 1999 as Kherson Center of Youth Initiatives «TOTEM”.

Since 2017 we are the Centre of Cultural Development “TOTEM”.

The organization consists of over 150 members and brings over 400 volunteers annually to cultural and social activities

 
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