2019 marks the 5th anniversary of the war in Eastern Ukraine. The impact of this largely forgotten war on daily life forms the basis of ROZSYPNE, a literary virtual reality production, written and directed by the Dutch-Ukrainian writer Lisa Weeda (1989). At the end of March, the virtual reality installation ROZSYPNE will premiere at the Passa Portafestival in Brussels.
Rozsypne is a village in a war zone. Since 2014 the villagers are caught up in a violent conflict between the Ukrainian government and a separatist movement backed by Russia. It is also the place where Flight MH17 on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down. The eyes of the world found Rozsypne as the backdrop of an aviation disaster.
Studio ZZZAP created a virtual reality installation inspired by the work of our guest author Lisa Weeda. The Dutch-Ukrainian author wrote the monologue of Nina, an elderly lady who goes about her daily business in a war zone. Nina spends much time in her cellar where she is safe from the shelling that takes place at night. She loves sunflowers. The project portrays the reality of ordinary people caught up in a conflict and it is also a critical response to the often one-sided reporting on Eastern Ukraine in the Western media.
Nina's garden in the VR project Rozsypne © Studio ZZZAP
But on 28 February there will be a sneak preview at the University of Sheffield. Lisa Weeda will talk to students about ROZSYPNE, her other literary work and her Ukrainian heritage.
Sheffield students play a modest part in the project too. It is their translation into English that will open this important installation for an international audience. In collaboration with students at University College London and Nottingham they are currently working on the translation of Nina's monologue and Weeda’s text Indexen van verwijtbaarheid. Jonathan Reeder is the literary translator who offers (online) professional guidance to our students.