Cinema and Protest

On July 25, 2014 in the Center for Urban History as part of the 7th Lviv International Short Film Festival Wiz-Art 2014 a discussion was held with the directors of the film #BABYLON ’13 on "Documentaries: An Instrument of Struggle in Ukraine?". Moderator: Sofia Dyak, director of the Center for Urban History.

Considering the Revolution of Dignity as a struggle of consciousness, we have observed how documentary films have become one of the main instruments in this fight. In #BABYLON ’13 the artists not only learned how to use this weapon, recording the events of the Ukrainian civil protest, but went even further and contributed to the birth of a new modern cultural reality in Ukraine. We became witnesses and even active participants in the creation of an entirely new form of communication between filmmakers and the audience when the Internet became both a theater and a full hall of viewers.

Discussion concerned these and other impacts of the film #BABYLON ’13 on Ukrainian documentaries and society. In the discussion participated Volodymyr Tykhyy, director, artistic director of the project #BABYLON ’13; Yulia Shashkova and Kostiantyn Kliatskin, directors; Tarik Cyril Amar, historian (Columbia University); Kateryna Slipchenko, film critic; Natalia Otrischenko, sociologist, researcher of Maidan ("Voices of Resistance and Hope: Kyiv-Lviv Kharkiv").

#BABYLON ’13 is a collective of filmmakers that formed in December 2013 during the EuroMaidan events in Ukraine. The initial aim was to record the events of the Revolution of Dignity. More than 40 participants continue to cover events in the country, to resist propaganda. The studio has created more than 140 films and documented more than 1,000 hours of events.

The number of views of certain films of #BABYLON ’13 on YouTube has reached nearly 4 million primarily due to the innovative format of public documentary web cinema, often in online mode. The films have been used by channels such as CNN, Al-Jazzera, ITN, and others. #BABYLON ’13 represented Ukraine at the Cannes International Film Festival.

The video of the event will be available for viewing on the Center for Urban History’s website.