Encountering СИХІВ

Submitted by jr on Thu, 05/06/2010 - 06:33

While the historic center of L'viv is increasingly being promoted as some 'New Prague' (or 'you name it') by the hype machines of tourism industry, there is also its 'urbanistic other', a failed Soviet utopia as well as a reservoir for the neoliberal L'viv to become: Syhiv (СИХІВ)

During a month-long stay in L'viv during August 2009 (thanks to a mobility grant awarded by the 'Gulliver Connect Programme'), I was actually living right in Syhiv, which raised my interest in that area. Soon after my return back to Bratislava, I stumbled upon an earlier version of syhiv.com, run by Elena and Yuriy, who were actually growing up in Syhiv. They have started this project to contextualize their experiences and observations, creating some kind of record about their suburban socio-spatial consciousness. Their virtual node syhiv.com is a profound and steadily growing array of texts and images, fragments of the actual (sub-)urban realities and what was and could have been. In an introduction to their project, Elena and Yuriy wrote:

CNXIB is about the lost memory written in the remanents of a once created future. it’s not about decay, but about possible forms of life after the key-narrative is gone. it’s about how the narrative of lifes is always outside of the realm of concepts/ideologies. there is always someone around. even in the fields, even in the woods, even in the backstreets.

In late March 2010 I finally got the chance to visit Syhiv again and meet Elena and Yuriy. They took me for walks through the blurred spheres of their neighbourhoods. During those days I could also win Elena for some site-specific recording-sessions, where she reflected about her relation to certain places as well as some peculiar characteristics of Syhiv. Have a listen to them on radio aporee.

Syhiv/L'viv, Ukraine
19-03 till 23-03-2010

Big up to Elena and Yuriy, syhiv.com!

(By the way, Elena does some fabulous illustration work, make sure to check it out on hippodromewithouthorses.com)