[unarchiving] is a public history program based on the materials of our Urban Media Archive. This program promotes and mainstreams the challenges and topics critical in contemporary discussions of archival heritage and archiving as a heritagization process. We are committed to shape new attitudes on archiving and present historical collections in an unusual perspective. The events from the series include public viewing and listening to visual, audiovisual, or audio pieces that could use a different format from academic settings and create an atmosphere of free reflection and discussion, as well as combine popular formats and archival historical collections.
These formats include evenings of cine-music or photo-music, film screenings, photo presentations, and parties, as well as exhibitions that can facilitate conversations between the present and the past. In other words, we attempt to challenge the perception of “archive” as something closed, oriented for exclusive usage by experts or locked containers of “historical truth” and see archives as reflective process and communicative practice.
The [unarchiving] program was launched in May 2017, and the first event was the screening of the colored slides by Lviv-based hippie Greg (Hryhoriy Porystkyi), accompanied by music. It was prepared by Greg’s close friend Andriy Manilov. The evening was a chance to exchange memories and reminiscences about the informal groups of the 1970/80s in Lviv, and thus expanded the attendees’ perception about the established image of the recent past.
Another format of the [unarchiving] is the cooperation with artists and film directors for the sake of reflection and creation of new works on the basis of archival materials. Thus, our first experience of cooperation with the video-artist was the piece by Oleh Voronko “Time forward. Two times back.” It was a key film screening during the conference on experiences of socialist cities. Following the Competition run by the Lviv Film Commission entitled “The Fresh” (2017), the newsreels and private recordings from the Urban Media Archive were used to produce two short films: “Happy Years” by Svitlana Shymko and Halyna Yarmanova, as well as the “Intervisions-Lviv” by Elias Parvulesku, Stas Menzelevskyi, and Anna Onufriyenko. Moreover, as commissioned by the Urban Media Archive, within the [unarchiving] program, they produced a short documentary “Tree” (2019) by Oleh Chornyi and Hena Khmaruk. The film is the author’s interpretation of the story by a little known film amateur Viktor Kyzyma from Kirovohrad region. It was discovered on the 16 mm film, drastically damaged by lime. The “Tree” was selected for screening at international festivals, contests, and conferences in Ukraine, France, Poland, USA, and UK.