Festival performance on stage in Unizh


Unizh village, Ivano-Frankivsk region

Quiet apple orchard in the majestic Dniester Canyon. The festival has completely embraced the new location. Events have taken place not only on the big stage but also in all its restored premises of the former farm: stables, smithy, pottery, cafés and canteens and just in the orchard.

Great open-air laboratory. One artistic direction complemented the other, creating a stunning diversity of reality. An element of improvisation and interactive has always been present. The audience was not separated from the artists and constantly participated in the common creative process — singing, filming, editing, dancing, drawing.

The festival transformed for a place for emerging and implementing ideas that after some time captured stages and galleries in different cities and countries. Many projects were created especially for ArtPole. Besides that, new alliances and unexpected combinations emerged. Sometimes no one, even the organizers, knew the most interesting things, because it appeared right here — in the apple orchard by the Dniester.


An indisputable fact is that the common effect is much more powerful than the effect of each individual component through interaction. Of course, the main point on the festival map, where all energies cross, is the scene. We dreamed of the symbolic object which would be harmonious in that landscape. The ‘stage-nest’ which had been created by one of the participants and had been built the group of participants of the festival became the symbol of festival synergy. The big stage of ArtPole has traditionally been diverse. That year was not an exception. Even musicians from Australia played in it. Several collaborations that had been born at previous festivals were also presented including The Khmeleva Project by DakhaBrakha (Ukraine) and Port Mone (Belarus).

During the day, various workshops with new, sometimes unexpected, approaches to the traditional singing, dancing, and crafts were opened. It was possible to work with hands, body, voice and imagination. The loudest workshop, which was called “We sing as we can,” had rehearsals twice a day on a huge swing. There was also a photo workshop, the idea of which was to document the ArtPole’2011 by the efforts only of the audience with a bit of support of professional photographers.

ArtPole’2011 has continued the tradition of caring for the environment: multiple dishes in cafés, eco-volunteers, garbage sorting and other practical and creative ways of dealing with rubbish, as well as plants and birds watching, tree planting.


For the first time there was a night experimental stage where music was combined with poetry, theater and video. Improvisations by musicians, video artists, sculptors, carpenters and everyone who wanted and could do it were presented at the ArtPole’s experiment aria.

The apple orchard was the place where trees, people, birds and nests coexisted in harmony. This year there were also birdhouses from a Ukrainian artist Myroslav Vayda. This was one of the landmark objects that is still preserved. Locals come to it for holidays and those who float the Dniester by boats make special stops near it.


There were four stages for showing music and theater projects. Along with world music stars, also experimental groups performed on the big stage. For example, it was instrumental, in the direct sense, ensemble of local carpenters from the Unizh-Tsekh or vegetable orchestra Paprikalaba. One of festival’s stages was rafted on the Dniester River with the Hych Orchestra.

The biggest intrigue was the night experimental aria where those whom the festival audience had known thanks to the big stage performed in new images. “The transglobalized version” of the ancient Indian legend The King and The Corpse told by the charismatic vocalist of Transglobal Underground accompanying by Shima’s virtuoso play on the sitar. Oleh Moh Hnativ from Perkalaba offered his version of the walk beyond our reality together with Hutsul Magic Foundation. ArtPole agency was presented the first author multimedia performance “Albert, or The Highest Form of Punishment”. Its director was Olia Mykhailiuk (ArtPole), the storyteller was a famous Ukrainian writer Yurii Andrukhovych.


Borders. Lines. Lines separate space. Lines connect the points in space. Points and lines form ornaments. Geometry borders on art. Ornaments and borders became the general theme of the last festival.

In view of the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the event happened not as a regular festival format, but as a meeting and a laboratory. ARTPOLE.IF in the apple orchard in Unizh continued ARTPOLE.LU, which took place in May in east Ukraine near Alchevsk. Six months before the Ukrainians united in protest. The main question of ArtPole was ‘who we are?’ and ‘is it possible for us to unite in contemplation and creation?’

Language, music, landscapes helped us in our search for identity. Walks and discussions were held by writers and biologists, musicians and geographers, artists, historians, philosophers. Most bands that year played in big stage just instrumental music without words. Movie screenings, creation of landscape objects, literary and musical performances, workshops, the largest of which “Big ear” is for the youngest. The task of it was creating an audio fairy tale. Children looked for sounds and adults supported them in recording and mixing. Artists from Donetsk and Lviv, Kharkiv and Uzhhorod, Crimea and the Carpathians presented in ArtPole’2014. Besides the Ukrainians, the program was included participants from Austria, Poland, Hungary. They did not cancel concerts realizing the need for mutual support and the process of common creation.