‘A pacifist is a rare beast in a bomb shelter.’ The war in Ukraine challenged our idea of pacifism. Should Europe take up arms or not? Can it ease its conscience only with humanitarian aid? Isn’t Europe's attitude towards the war mainly driven by economic motives?
In Passivity, Ukrainian art curator Alexandra Tryanova and Belgian sociologist Pascal Gielen engage in a dialogue about this. In doing so, they not only talk about the current political situation, but also look at themselves; at their own fears and privileges. What is passivity in our own daily doings? When does pacifism turn into resignation? How do our surrounding media and culture contribute to such an attitude? Passivity does not provide unifying answers to these questions. Rather, it looks for ways to find peace with our own mixed feelings.
Authors: Alexandra Tryanova, Pascal Gielen
Visuals: Polina Frank
Design: Lotte Lara Schröder
Alexandra Tryanova is an independent Ukranian curator, currently active within Belgium and the Netherlands.
Pascal Gielen is a cultural sociologist affiliated with the Antwerp Research Institute for the Arts (ARIA) of the University of Antwerp.
Polina Frank is a Ukrainian artist and tattoo artist.