Culture Lab

June, 2020
More info +
The Participatory
Action Research

More info +

Ciokana Talks

In July 2018 Polish researcher and cultural animator Pola Rożek in collaboration with Ukrainian artist Pavel Khailo and Moldovan researcher Kirill Semionov was operating in Ciokana district at the outskirts of Chişinău – the capital city of Moldova – to discover local community’s own cultural repertoire and extract bottom-up practices which would express solidarity behaviors among residents of the district. Researchers’ attention was drawn especially by self-made playgrounds, gazebos, barbecues, flower gardens and benches which they observed in Ciokana. Artists in collaboration with local community representatives created a map of self-made objects aiming at improving the quality of common life of Ciokana's inhabitants.

Citizens driven solidarity practices discovered by Rożek, Khailo and Semionov have ambiguous – and therefore very interesting – characteristics. Their summary draws attention to the paradoxical phenomenon of enclosers benefiting the community life. Almost all examples present self-made objects which are surrounded by fences or other types of barriers. Garden fence for example is giving the frame, cutting part of reality from the commodity oriented and egoistic world, which makes nurturing solidarity possible. Another conclusion emphasises the necessity of existence of physical infrastructure which can be used for solidarity awakening purposes and the amount of organizational work which production of solidarity demands. Solidarity does not appear as an impulse-based response, but it is a consistently implemented strategy that requires an organizational machine that puts it in motion.

Photos by Pola Rożek

Map by Oberliht


Artists/researchers: Pola Rożek (Poland) in collaboration with Pavel Khailo (Ukraine) and Kirill Semionov (Moldova)
Place: Ciokana district public spaces, Chişinău (Moldova)
Time: July 1st – 7th 2018
Pictures: Pola Rożek, Pavel Khailo
Local community representatives: Tatiana Erhan, Julia Turcan, Maria Kucherik, “Mrs. Valentina”
Production: Krytyka Polityczna, Oberliht