Temerari - Daredevils - Шибайголови

Mykola Ridnyi

[Beitrag nur in englischer Sprache]

On Temerari (2019) from 2022

von Mykola Ridnyi

In 2019 I spent a few months at the beautiful Villa Serpentara in Olevano Romano, a village close to Rome. It was a time filled with contrasting impressions of relaxing nature, good cuisine and wine and the intense political events taking place around us. The war in Donbas that began in 2014 revealed more connections between Ukraine and Italy than one could imagine. Italy at the time was experiencing a parliamentary crisis provoked by the far-right populist Matteo Salvini. At the same time, the Ukrainian National Guard sergeant Vitaliy Markiv was sentenced to 17 years on suspicion of killing the Italian journalist Andrea Rocchelli and his Russian translator Andrei Mironov during military actions in eastern Ukraine. The case looked controversial and politically motivated: The Italian press had often called Markiv a neo-Nazi, and this perfectly matched Salvini’s course of building close connections to Russia. However, the Italian crisis ended with the resignation of Salvini as Deputy Prime Mininster. A year after later, Markiv was fully acquitted by the court and released from jail.

Activists who were supporting the release of the Ukrainian sergeant were often coming to protests with portraits of antagonists – Italian right-wing radicals who went to fight in Ukraine for the self-proclaimed republics and Russia. This is how I learned of a parallel investigation by the Italian police into the network of Italian mercenaries and recruiters for the war in Ukraine. At the time, none of them had been detained. While some had entrenched themselves within the power structures of the “DPR / LPR” republics, others disappeared without a trace.

Stories about “Ukrainian neo-Nazis” often appear in the European press, but this is the same rhetoric used by Putin to justify his attack on Ukraine. I will not deny the presence of radical right-wingers in Ukraine, but their number is no greater than among supporters of the “Russian worldview” or among Italian tifosi. Researching right-wing movements for many years, I have discovered some interesting paradoxes. The small Ukrainian publishing house Zaliznyi Tato (“Iron Dad”) publishes translations of militaristic essays by Marinetti and the heroic biography of Mussolini, projecting the cultural experience of Italian futurism and the aesthetics of fascism onto the agenda of modern radicalism. However, the activity of the Italian mercenaries shows that when it comes to the issue of Ukraine, the right-wing radicals of various countries find themselves on opposite sides of the frontline.

The film essay Temerari examines the links between the contemporary flow of information and the history of art and cinema, while trying to avoid propaganda clichés and shedding light on less obvious details.

It is based on my personal experience working as an artist from a country searching for its place in Europe (Ukraine) from within an EU country with a high level of working migration and social inequality (Italy).

Its political message is a warning about the danger of totalitarian and anti-humanist ideologies masked under the umbrella of populism.

What can be added to this after February 24, 2020, now that Russia has stopped using mercenaries and rebels to conceal its aggression and has openly invaded the sovereign and independent country of Ukraine? We are dealing here with a new form of fascism, cultivated on the ground of unbridled capitalism, which Ukraine is bravely resisting – thereby serving as a shield for all of Europe.

*1985 in Charkiw geboren, lebt in Kiew

Mykola Ridnyi schloss 2008 sein Studium an der staatlichen Akademie für Design und Bildende Künste in Charkiw ab. Ridnyi war Gründungsmitglied des in Charkiw ansässigen Künstlerkollektivs SOSka und Mitbegründer der gleichnamigen, von Künstler*innen geführten Galerie. Er verbindet verschiedene künstlerische Aktivitäten; ist Künstler und Filmemacher, Kurator und schreibt über Kunst und Politik. Ortsspezifische Installationen und Experimentalfilme bilden den aktuellen Schwerpunkt seiner Arbeit.


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