time periodJune 2021 - July 2021
Sofia Andruchowytsch was born in 1982 in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine. She has authored six books of prose to date: Milena's Summer (2002), Old People (2003), Wives of their Husbands (2005), Salmon (2007), Felix Austria (2014), and Amadoka (2020). She is also an author of the book for children "Hen Constellation" (2015). Her works have been translated into English, Polish, German, Czech, French, Hungarian, Serbian, and other languages. She is also an author of essays and a translator. Lives in Kyiv.
The project I plan to work on during the residency:
The project I am working on for a year is the novel Black Dirt. Black Dirt ("Chorna Hriaz" in Ukrainian) was the first proper name of one of the oldest historical areas in Kyiv. For me, the title has a connection with Kyiv and its history, but it means many other things as well: human body, human flaws, and sins, flesh and soul, dirt and ash from which all the beings were raised, to which all of us are going to go in order to make the better soil for the new life.
The novel tells the story of relationships of the woman artist and the KGB worker who is in charge of the ideological accordance of the art during the Soviet times (the 1970s). It`s about the power and codependency, about the control which the state was having not only on the people's lives but also on their dreams to be free and to be who they are.
Last year I was doing research on life in Kyiv during the 1970s, studied the biographies of Ukrainian artists and their ways to cope with the regime and their fate. The subject of memory is always important to me so in my present work I want to find for myself some new ways to explore if past human experience ever wears off or is it only intensifying in the human consciousness.