God will do the rest

Video installation in a public place

University of Fine Arts (Poznan, 2016) as part of the stipend Gaude Polonia

A single-day video installation — March 18, 2016 — at the entrance to the University of Fine Arts. On this day, in 1944, Crimean Tatars were deported from Crimea. For half a century, they lived thousands of kilometers from the peninsula. They started returning when Ukraine became independent. On May 18, Crimean Tatars traditionally honored the memory of those who died during the deportation by lighting candles at the central square of Simferopol. In the Spring of 2014, Crimea was annexed by Russia. The honoring event was prohibited.

The video features several thousand Crimean Tatars who on May 18, 2015, ascended Mt Chatyr-Dag. They revere this mountain as sacred and go there for a joint prayer. The text on the staircase reveals the story of the deportation.

If, as mass media put it, the population of Crimea unanimously supported accession to the Russian Federation, then who are these people? Am I dreaming? On that day, I made an ascent to the pinnacle together with them. Upon our return, we saw special officers on duty at the foot of the mountain. I kept asking myself what I could do against it? And I heard an answer: “Do what you can, and God will do the rest”. A year later during preparations for the installation, it turned out that henceforth hikes up the sacred mountain would have to be “sanctioned” and would be controlled by the occupiers.