Weekly Schedule (CET)

Radio as Social Sculpture Live in Melbourne: Memories of an Unsettled Present with Daria Hetmanova and Amir Saifullin

17 March 2024
  • Arts & Culture
  • Interview
  • Reportage
  • Talk Show
  • Informative
  • Urgent

“Is it possible for the invaders to occupy a space without occupying time?”

— this is one of the many demanding questions raised in the remarkable text “5 Exercises in Time and Space,” written by Daria Hetmanova, a translator and researcher from Mariupol, in 2022, and it guides our following conversation.

This program begins with my reading of this text, followed by a conversation where I invite Daria to further share her perspectives on questions of memory and its politics vis-à-vis colonial violence, and the ways memory can be cultivated rather than merely conserved. Here, we discuss the significance of Mariupol Memory Park, where the text is published, as a practice of anarchiving before turning to the multifaceted issue of repair, its necessity and challenges, and how it may differ from the work of restoration as a way of counteracting some impacts of colonial violence.

It is important to note that this reading takes place on the second anniversary of the Russian air missile strike on March 16, 2022, which took the lives of hundreds of people sheltering at the Mariupol theatre.

I also want to recognise that this program is taking place on Stolen Land. I want to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which this broadcast is taking place, the Wur-un-djeri People, and their continued connection to Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Country. I pay my respects to Elders past, present, and emerging. I extend that respect to all First Nations people whose land was stolen and who never ceded sovereignty. This always was and always will be Aboriginal land.

The program is the first iteration of “Memories of an Unsettled Present.” This segment explores how present actions may affect the meaningful restoration of the past’s presence. The radio broadcast format serves not only to amplify but also to reflect the transmission of signals between different places and (post)colonial settings across continents: the airwaves mirror the flow of philosophical and artistic ideas across time and space, bridging the gap between past and present.

Daria Hetmanova is a translator and researcher from Mariupol, pursuing her Ph.D. at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver on unceded lands stewarded by the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish, Kwitwetlem, Stó:lō, Qayqayt, Katzie, and Kwantlen nations. Currently, Daria is part of the Digital Democracies Institute, where she is involved in the project that maps the technologies of filtration and deportation during the Russia-Ukraine war.

Amir Saifullin is a Tatar researcher from Russia, based between Rome and Berlin. He is working at the intersection of anthropology and histories of art, science, and philosophy, with a particular interest in how different visual forms of translation and mediation communicate and shape human cosmologies, politics, and communities. Amir is now pursuing these interests while writing his PhD dissertation on Projectionism at the University of Zurich.


1. Daria Hetmanova, Five Exercises in Time and Space, translated by Anna Bowles, 2022


2. Svitlana Matviyenko, “Vertical Occupation,” in London Ukrainian Review, 4 March 2024, Issue 1 (2024)


3. Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, “Paranoid reading and reparative reading; or, you’re so paranoid, you probably think this introduction is about you.” In Novel gazing: Queer readings in fiction, (1997): 1-37

4. Ksenia Rybak, “The ruins have taught me something about myself”. Mariupol Memory Park as an autonomous anarchive, in Commons, 04.12.2022


5. Mourid Barghouti, I Saw Ramallah, The American University in Cairo Press, 2000 (1997)


Mariupol Memory Park: https://www.mariupolmemorypark.space/en/

“In the spring of 2022, the troops of the Russian Federation destroyed our city. Tens of thousands of people died. Western countries, heavily addicted to fossil fuels at the time, did almost nothing to save us. The desire to continue doing business with the Russian Federation, which is what guided European elites, has undermined European democratic principles. However, our Mariupol values, our experience of openness, cultural reflection and struggle for equality have endured. Therefore, Mariupol Memorial Park is not the city’s burial ground. It is a park where we grow and develop, where our political and artistic ideas evolve.”

Mariupol Memory Park — A Displaced Library: https://www.mariupolmemorypark.space/en/library-en/

“We were unable to get our books out of the city. We really hope they were burned to keep people warm and not for some other reason. We know we will create new books – important books – out of the ashes of those burnt pages. This part of our Memorial Park contains a collection of various texts and testimonies about Mariupol, about its multicultural nature and its unique place in the world.”

amir saifullin mariupol memory park


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