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The Cable Car

Research Team: Marichka Varenikova, Sibylle Feucht

Interest / Focus

Already during our short research trip in October 2018 we almost instantaneously decided to focus on the connection between the two cities of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, situated geographically next to each other.
We were stunned how less this two cities, sharing a train station, are interacting with nor even think of each other. Therefore we seekd to find out more about this situation in a first step through interviews with representaives of the local cultural scene (see Methodology | Step I). The outcome of these conversations lead to the central idea of our project: to creat a mental space that connects both cities through creating the myth of a cable car, physically connecting both cities.

Methodology | Step I

In order to find out more about the cities and the way they are thinking about eacher other and about themselves. In order to do so, we set up – with the help of the local organization XXX – a dense schedule of meetings and conversations with individuals in Sevrodonetsk that are part of the art and cultural scene.
So we had conversations with:
>   Oleh Nevenytsia and Olha Ursol from Touristic Information centre NGO
>   Oleksandr Shmal, manager of Art-n-Gart theatre.
>   Evheniy Koroletov, artist.
>   Valentyn Halimov, painter
These conversations lead to an understanding that some of the representatives of the local art an culture scene view Severodonetsk and it’s citizens as more educated and with a higher interest in art and culture then their neighboures in Lysychansk. Following this line they would never consinder it as interesting to produce/present something in Lysychansk. They also refuse to acknowledge the cultural heritage of Belgium architecture in Lysychansk. This pride that we found in Severodonetsk seems to date back to soviet times and its scientific past. Whereas in Lysychansk, pride is mostly connected with the fact, to be an old city (founded in 1710) – with a history (in mining) and their Belgian heritage.

Methodology | Step II

By creating a modern myth of a cable car connection between the cities of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk a mental space is created. This space can open up new possibilities like:
>   to realise more consciously how close both cities are to each other
>   to think of both cities more as a unit with different roles
>   engaging more with each other on a individual, governmental or non-institutional level
>   developing, creating projects of any sort together
Creating a modern Myth
In order to creat the myth of a cable car, we approached the project like a campaign for a real project/product by:
>   Video Trailer
Creating  a video, stipulating an already existing cable car with a young man that connects the cable car between Lysychansk and Severodonetsk to a personal story.
>   Video Interviews
We conducted video interviews with:
- the acting mayor of Severodonetsk, Mr. Viacheslav Tkachuk
- Mr.  Levon Azizian, a lawyer an hobby historian, Severodonetsk
- Mrs. Olga Ursol, Touristic Information centre NGO, Severodonetsk
Further interviews could be conducted in the future.

>   Logo
Creating a logo for the connecting cable car, that is inspired by logos that can be found on existing cable cars in the European Alps and referring to the meaning of the names of the two cities: Severodonetsk means Northern Donetsk and Lysychansk means Fox Town.
>   Logo Stickers
Producing Stickers with the created Logo. We already started to distribute the stickers in the two cities and taking images of the places where we placed them to post these images in facebook and Instagram
>   Billboards
In each city a large Billboard (3x6m) was rented on which we placed 2 different visualisations of a cable car together with the logo (see above) and a QR-Code, referring to the facebook page created.
>   Facebook Page
we created a facebook page for the project:Канатна-дорога-СєвєродонецькЛисичанськ-388247018425639

and we created an Instagram account for the project: cable_car_ukraine

Further Steps

As next steps these elements have to be managed, maintained and communicated, what in the short time avaible was not possible to persue to full extend. The idea is to create discussions and an exchange around the cable car concept to be persued within the social media formats but also in real.
Through a personal contact with a Ukranian Journalist, Oleksandr Holubov, working for Deutsche Welle, there will be a covering of the project by Deutsche Welle for Ukrane.
The project will be also presented (Video Trailer, Logo Stickers and Posters of the realized Billboards) at a pop-up exhibition event of DAS ESSZIMMER–space for art+ at space52, Athens (Greece) on May 18, 2019.

We experienced that the majority of the people we got in contact with through the project reacted open, interested and also inspired by the idea of a cable car connecting both cities. Something that repeated while communicating the concept outside Ukrane.
We also got in contact with xxx, a lawyer and hobby historian from Severodonetsk, who had found out, that in 1964 there had been already a rather developed project for a cable car connecting Lysychansk with xxx at the border of the xxx river. He had researched that and found the plans which he showed us in the conducted video interview.

Role of Culture

Cultural protagonists of the area seem not to connect very well with each other in order to create synergies and a dynamic. The initiatives seem to stay more or less within a certain group, but do not actively attract wider groups. Every group or initiative seems to be very focused on their own interests and on competing for the resources they need. There seems also a lack of knowledge to to use social media or other stragies for spreading the word.