I am a practitioner, academic and researcher interested in creating work that can help us to think through new historical discontinuities that have emerged in post-capitalist and post-socialist transition. This is ever more relevant at a time when the Eurozone is fragmenting, and right wing populisms are on the rise. In addition, I do research and write extensively on the issues of belonging, female body and the border and intergenerational trauma. My artistic work explores borders and stories that emerge from living in transition. Ultimately, I am interested in creating and researching work that provides means by which people can meet, human to human, in all their differences, in the most sensitive and sincere way possible.
The Third Nature digital conversation commission, consists of a film you can watch here and the ongoing digital discussion board that you can access through this link. Third Nature is an open-ended series of digital discussions: a riot of short reflections on lived, precarious, migrant experience patched onto bigger discussions on feminism and care. Our approach to the project felt borderless – without boundaries, In a creatively nurturing way.
Commissioned by performingborders and Live Art Development Agency for performingbordersLIVE20 supported by the Centre for Research in Digital Story-making at London South Bank University, funded by Arts Council England.
In the last ten years of the Hostile Environment in the UK- instability, a lack of a sense of belonging and a desire to make change, has inspired enormous creative response from artists that come from migrant backgrounds.
As such, we feel it is as important to address this response, as it is to understand the hostile political climate that provokes it.
Researchers and artists Elena Marchevska and Carolyn Defrin, and filmmaker Winstan Whitter decided to work in a non-hierarchical dynamic, as co-creators over a period of two years. As a team, we all come from complicated migrant backgrounds, that are additionally challenged due to the Hostile Environment Act in the UK. We view our research and creative practice as a method for defying what constitutes a ‘good citizen’s’ narrative in the UK today. Our core collaboration opens up to further collaborations as we worked with different artists and researchers from a range of migrant backgrounds. Through observations and discussions about our respective visual and performance art-making practices, we created a series of films that aim to resist a singular view of migration. We feel this speaks to the vibrant and varied migration cultures that comprise the UK.
Funder: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (2018) : Insight Development Grant
More about the project here: www.projectfindinghome.net
In 2016, Elena Marchevska undertook research residency in LADA’s Study Room exploring live art
practices and methodologies in issues of cultural privilege and the displaced.
This residency was part of LADA’s Restock, Rethink, Reflect Four programme, that aims to
mark and map the ways in which Live Art has developed new forms of access to, and
understandings of, knowledge, agency, and inclusion in relation to the under-represented,
marginalized and disenfranchised constituencies of:
* the young
* the old
* the displaced, and
* those excluded through economic and social barrriers.
Elena’s residency was done in collaboration with Counterpoints Arts and
built on dis/placed programme of events which was organised in response to global
demographic shifts and unprecedented levels of human displacement.
As part of her residency, Elena worked with the concept of hospitality in juxtaposition
with hostility and decided to extend invitation and host other artists as part of her
Firstly, she invited the artist Tanja Ostojic to run a free two-day workshop at LADA on
ideas of displacement as part of Tanja's ongoing Misplaced Women? project, on 13-14
December 2016. The workshop was followed by a public performance by Tanja and
Elena also invited artists to submit contributions to her Study Room Guide on
Displacement in the form of anecdotes, stories, short observations, poems, photographs or
performance texts on their experiences of the ‘state of displacement’.
Read Elena's guest post for Performing Borders
Elena talking about her residency video
Megan Vaughan of LADA interviews Kelly Green, Elena Marchevska, Lois Weaver and Sibylle Peters about their LADA residencies for CAPP.
Misplaced Women? in London, video of the workshop
Funding: The residency was funded by the Collaborative Arts Partnership Programme (CAPP), an EU-funded research project looking at collaborative practices within socially engaged contexts. The overall goal of CAPP is to improve and open up opportunities for artists who are working collaboratively across Europe, by enhancing mobility and exchange whilst at the same time engaging new publics and audiences for collaborative practices. The principle aims of the CAPP residencies are to explore new models of participation and co-operation and encourage an exchange of artists’ methodologies, contexts? and ideas.