Construction Festival comes to Dresden for 2023 edition

Bella Baguena

After an involuntary one-year break due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, this year the festival makes space for Ukrainian artists in Dresden.

Ukraine’s Construction Festival returns this year, facilitated by organising part of the festival abroad. In doing so, the organisers hope to allow Ukrainian sound artists a space to express themselves and increase the visibility of Ukrainian culture.

The Dresden edition of the audiovisual art and new media festival will start on 19 June with a residency for Ukrainian and German artists Cornelius Uhle, Charles Washington and current SHAPE+ artist NFNR – aka Olesia Onykiienko. The trio will spend two weeks collaborating on a project to be presented at the festival.

For its eighth edition, the Dnipro-born festival will hold a series of artist talks, performances and a film screening across Dresden at multiple city locations. There will also be a closing concert featuring artists from the current SHAPE+ roster including Maryana Klochko, Katarina Gryvul, Bella Baguena, and Ursula Sereghy.

Construction was founded in Dnipro, Ukraine, in 2014 and the festival team plan to continue to hold several events on its home turf – including a three-day festival in September – in addition to the Dresden events. Speaking on this year’s Construction, the festival’s director Andrii Palash said, “we started thinking about organizing Construction Festival abroad last spring as we gradually returned to work following the start of Russia’s all-out war against Ukraine. We wanted to provide a platform for Ukrainian musicians to be heard because our culture is still not sufficiently represented in other countries”.

The festival, which has always celebrated Dnipro’s cultural heritage by looking at its identity, history and visions of the future, continues to carve out space for celebration of Ukrainian culture this year with residencies for both Ukrainian and German artists. The forthcoming Construction Festival in Dresden is organised by Kultura Medialna NGO in collaboration with SHAPE+, a Creative Europe-supported platform for innovative music and audiovisual art.

Construction Festival will announce further details of this year’s events via its social media. Its Dresden programme will run from 19 June to 1 July.