The image is a still from Paolo Ciregia’s project Perestroika, an account of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2014. It was shown as part of the Diffusion 2017 festival in Cardiff, 1 – 31 May. Revolution was the theme of the entire, month-long project, organized by Ffotogallery, Cardiff. I was there as a reviewer for Source.
The more I looked, the more it seemed that the term “revolution” wasn’t exactly current, but had become a name for some kind of change we pehaps no longer think is possible–too sweeping, too tied to utopian ideas we’ve come to mistrust. We speak of transformation, perhaps, or revelation, but it’s more restrained. Ciregia’s video, in any case, seemed to me to be in a category of its own, a work that moved the ground of “revolution” from the political here and now into the ways we can or can’t, do or don’t generate meaning from, in this case, war. It explicitly rejects conventions of television war coverage, and insists on Perestroika, free expression, of a conflict between particular people at one time in place.