Chairperson of the Board and Cultural manager – Centre of cultural development “Totem”
Until the nineties, Kherson was one of Ukraine’s main centers for shipbuilding, textiles, and agricultural machine production. As large-scale production in the region declined in the post-soviet era, the cities’ factories continued to work on a smaller scale, but many large industrial buildings remained empty and abandoned.
Some of these empty buildings are located in the center of the city, adding a general feeling of neglect and decline to the cityscape. Active young people leave the city because of the absence of places that allow them to explore innovative ideas, such as cultural and social initiatives. Today, Kherson’s cultural level remains the same as it was 20 years ago.
Because of this, Team Kherson wants to provide a new creative space for the local community, transforming a former factory into a multifunctional, open space and an urban garden through citizen participation.
“We want to unite and activate the community with a platform for many ideas. It will be a crucial step to overcome the city’s ‘provinciality syndrome’ and will help the most active and progressive young people to realize their potential. Kherson needs to start developing its creative economy and a new identity as creative city.”
The team envisions a new, unique and sustainable space that will bring Kherson’s active citizens together, giving them a push to make their ideas come to life: exhibitions, open lectures, concerts, open library, co-working, creative residences and more.
Team Kherson will invite artists and designers to create art installations in the indoor space as well as in the urban garden. They will also involve civil society actors, NGOs, culture activists and social entrepreneurs in the planning of the platform’s activities. Finally, they want to work out a long-term plan and mechanisms of sustainable development of the new public space.