Histories Behind the Pavilion. Decoloniality and Biennials. Fourth Module of the Ukrainian Public Programme at the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia

On November 18–19 the Ukrainian Institute in cooperation with the Ukrainian Pavillion at the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia will organise a series of events titled “Histories Behind the Pavilion. Decoloniality and Biennials”.

This is the final of the series of four events in the framework of the Ukrainian Pavilion Public Programme conducted by the Ukrainian Institute. It is curated by Tetyana Filevska in cooperation with curators of the Ukrainian Pavilion Lizaveta German, Borys Filonenko and Maria Lanko.

In recent years, La Biennale di Venezia, like other major art exhibitions, has been rethinking the imperial heritage of Western Europe. The issue of decolonisation was addressed at all recent biennials, but these statements varied in terms of theme, focus, and form. How does decoloniality affect biennials and how do major art forums respond to shifts in the world order? What to do with the imperial past and what is the future of global art forums?

During two days of the conference curators, art historians, writers and art practitioners will gather in Venice and online to discuss how decoloniality shapes the biennales and how world’s largest art forums respond to the new situation on the globe with the reference to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and its tragic implications on the state of culture.

The first discussion in the frame of the programme titled “How Russian War Against Ukraine Changed the [Art] World” was held in April 2022. The autumn programme arranged in four modules (four long weekends) is a continuation of the started discussion. The previous modules within the programme were:

  • “How Do We Decolonise Art?” (September 2–4)
  • “Art as a Weapon and as a Target” (October 8–9)
  • “Fallen Between the Cracks. Unknown Art Histories” (October 28–29)

You can watch all lectures and discussions here.

Detailed programme of the fourth module (CEST time):

18 November

15:00-15:15 Introduction Tetyana Filevska

15:15-15:45 Lecture Anastasia Platonova. Presence without pavilion. 127 years of Ukrainian art in Venice biennale followed by Q&A

15:45-17:30 Discussion: Decoloniality and Biennials. Nanne Buurman, Hedwig Fijen, Anastasia Platonova, Joanna Warsza. Moderated by Tetyana Filevska

19 November

15:00-15:15 Screening Khandakar Ohida, DREAM YOUR MUSEUM, 2022

15:15-15:45 Lecture by Hanna Rudyk. Russian Pavilion in Venice. The Khanenko Gambit followed by Q&A

15:45-17:30 Discussion: The Future of Pavilions. Linda Kaljundi, Lucia Gavulova, Lizaveta German, Hanna Rudyk. Moderated by Tetyana Filevska

About participants:

● Hanna Rudyk – curator and educator, Deputy Director of the Khanenko  Museum (Ukraine)

Hedwig Fijen, founding director of Manifesta, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art (Netherlands)

Lizaveta German, curator and art historian, co-founder of The Naked Room gallery, co-curator of the Ukrainian Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale (Ukraine)

Nanne Buurman, author, curator, researcher and lecturer at the Kunsthochschule Kassel (Germany)

Lucia Gavulova, researcher, publicist, curator, Director of the Foundation – Centre for Contemporary Arts (Slovakia)

Anastasia Platonova, cultural critic, journalist, editor, cultural analyst (Ukraine)

Joanna Warsza, educator, the programme director of CuratorLab at Konstfack University, co-curator of the Polish Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale in 2022 (Poland)

Linda Kaljundi, professor of cultural history at the Estonian Academy of Arts, senior research fellow at Tallinn University (Estonia). Her participation is supported by the Estonian Centre for Contemporary Art and the Estonian Ministry of Culture

Tetyana Filevska, Creative Director at the Ukrainian institute (Ukraine)

Location: Teatro Piccolo Arsenale



Programme will be streamed online on the Ukrainian Institute Facebook and Youtube pages. The film screening will be available only for visitors in Venice.

If you are willing to attend the event in Venice in person or have the chance to ask questions online please kindly register here.

Background information

The programme is an integral part of the Ukrainian Pavilion, supervised by the Commissioner Kateryna Chuyeva, Deputy Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine and curated by the Ukrainian Institute’s Creative Director Tetyana Filevska and the Ukrainian Pavilion curators Lizaveta German, Maria Lanko, Borys Filonenko. The Public Programme is realised in a dialogue with teams of other national pavilions.

Hosted by La Biennale di Venezia

Organised by

  • Ukrainian Pavilion
  • Ukrainian Institute


  • International Renaissance Foundation
  • Platform for interdisciplinary practice Open Place
  • House of Europe