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Back in the times of the USSR, under the leadership of Joseph Stalin and Nikita Khrushchev, a network of cultural centres (Dom Kultury) was built all over the country to strengthen the grip of the regime on remote rural regions. Today the once prestigious buildings stand abandoned and derelict. Activity in them is scarce and nearly inexistent, especially since the current government recently withdrew the last scant support. Yet, in the village of Moshenka (Tverskaya Oblast) a handful of villagers make use of the ruins of one of them to preserve the last scraps of a confusing past. Singing from the heart and dreaming off on the melodies of a collection of songs of their liking, they try to escape the sad boredom of daily life and use that same recipe to re-live an awkward memory of togetherness. Suspended in time in an ambiguous dream of poetry, nationalism and naivety they witness a present day rural Russia in transformation, abandoned between forgotten traditions and post-war trauma. In the video-installation 'Moshenka' the locals invite the spectator to a reconstruction of a rehearsal day at the centre.
Production: Niko Hakenscheid & Valentina Stepanova - Co-production: workspacebrussels/ Life Long Burning (Culture Programme of the EU), Argos Centre for Art and Media, Territoria Moscow - With the support of: Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie