The collective Chto Delat (What is to be done?) was founded in 2003 in St. Petersburg, Russia, by a workgroup of artists, critics, philosophers, and writers from St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Nizhny Novgorod. Inspired by a 1902 publication by Lenin and the 19th century novel written by Nikolai Chernyshevsky, its name is a nod to socialist worker’s self-organisation in Russia. An artistic cell and community organiser, the collective uses a range of media, from video and theatre to radio and murals, art projects, seminars and public campaigns, to explore the post-socialist condition, knowledge production, and the politics of commemoration.

About the footprints, what we hide in the pockets and other shadows of hope, 2021
This video installation is realised in collaboration with the Piraeus Open School for Migrants in Athens. This work combines video film based on the performance of shadow theatre which took place in Athens. The series of photo collages – portraits of the film participants with an architectural structure similar to the school table – addresses the legacy of the Zapatista movement. In the performance, two narratives intertwine with each other. One comes from the Zapatista texts where Durito, a fictional beetle character, explains in a metaphorical way some basic ideas of Zapatista movement, and shares personal stories from the lives of the performance participants, refugees from different countries who arrive to live in Greece. It is part of an ongoing project entitled The Slow Orientation in Zapatism, which was initiated in 2017. Zapatism is an Indigenous political movement and a knowledge project based in Mexico, built on democratic processes practiced through community and horizontality.

Room26 2

Chto Delat – About the footprints, what we hide in the pockets and other shadows of hope, 2021.
Photo:MOMENTUM. Courtesy of the practicioner.