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Sumuyu Soms - St. Joost Graduation Show 2023
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The title of the project, Sumuyu Soms, reflects my mixed identity: where “sumuyu” (сумую) means “missing” or a sad state of mind in Ukrainian, “soms” means “sometimes” in Dutch.

I feel that I’ve integrated
within Dutch society, but never fully assimilated;
my heritage has kept me researching
my relation to – and position within –
both cultures. Living between different cultures entails
displacement; I am constantly confronted
with these frictions.

Following Russia’s full-scale invasion
of Ukraine in February 2022, displacement
entered my life on another level entirely.
In March, part of my family fled from
Ukraine to the Netherlands. Aunt Vika, the
wife of my mother’s brother, and their
children – Sonja and Dima – came to live
in our house in Weert. It’s the same house
where my mother and stepfather lived, and
where I grew up.

This video-installation tells the
story of a household, exploring how its
current residents have each had to adapt to
a new situation in their own ways. I want
to capture the uncertainty of this anxious
period, and how we try to deal with it.

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