Fantazery Residency and Festival

In the picturesque village of Yasinya located in the Western Ukraine, the Fantazery Residency and Festival brought together artists from V4 countries and Ukraine. This unique gathering aimed to reflect on the impact of the Russian invasion on the country through the lens of art, fostering creativity, healing, and integration.

What started as a modest effort soon exceeded expectations as the audience turnout exceeded predictions. Foreign partners infused new perspectives and fostered a deep cultural exchange that left an indelible mark on the local artistic landscape. Slovak artists, in particular, have left a legacy with an impressive mural adorning the walls of a village school, symbolizing solidarity and resilience.

The festival offered a variety of workshops and events, transcending borders and barriers. Participants experienced traditional Ukrainian singing during folk singing workshops, exploring a rich musical heritage rarely available through mainstream channels. Meanwhile, DJ workshops with Dnipro-based club Modul engaged the youth, initiating long-term cooperation on the creation of a children’s music laboratory in Yasinya. This initiative not only nurtured local talent but also fostered cross-cultural collaboration.

The inclusion of unique events, such as National Ukrainian “Kozachky” dance classes, added to the richness of the experience, surprising and delighting residents with unexpected cultural treasures. The final exhibition showcased the achievements of the residency, underscoring the enthusiasm and respect with which contemporary art was met, signaling a shift towards a more inclusive and strategic approach to cultural development.

Beyond Yasinya, the residency’s impact extended to regions like Dnipro and Kharkiv, important front-line cities deeply affected by the ongoing war. A strategic decision to include Kharkiv in the presentation tour underscored a commitment to reaching communities most in need of cultural enrichment and support.

Fantazery showed that art can make people feel connected and strong, no matter where they’re from or what they’ve been through. It’s a reminder of how powerful art can be in bringing people together and giving hope, even in tough times.