In the streets of Kharkiv Project

Project by cellist Denys Karachevtsev and photographer Oleksandr Osipov.

20 February, 2022 - 7 April, 2022.

A project with musical performances on the streets of war-time Kharkiv in Spring 2022. It was intended to draw attention to the war of both the cultural community and society in general. That time, the main gain was finding the financial assistance directly for our citizens and helping to restore buildings in the city damaged by shelling. As a result, the idea was implemented. In addition to the worldwide huge coverage in media, we managed to help many people. Funds were also transferred to foundations involved in the restoration of the Kharkiv National University of Arts named after I.P. Kotlyarevsky and Kharkiv Music College named after B.M. Lyatoshynskyi.

The idea for the performances came from my friend, the famous cellist Denys Karachevtsev, during the heavy shelling of Kharkiv on March 2. On the same day, he turned to me with a proposal to implement this project. Denys chose to perform a well-known dramatic work from classical music, the Cello Suite no. 5 by Bach. Also, separately from the project, the composition "Cherry Blossoms" by the modern jazz band Project Trio was performed.

I was responsible for the visual component. We chose places that were badly affected by the occupiers for locations, and also selected them according to the mood for each individual part. In addition, I had the idea to record one of the parts of the project in the subway with its special atmosphere. At that time, thousands of people were hiding from the war in the Kharkiv metro. For this video, I chose the "Sportyvna" station, first of all, because of the colors of the Ukrainian flag in the interior on the ceiling.

Parts of the suite were recorded not in chronological order, but according to the priority of availability of locations for filming. The first three videos were recorded on one day, March 20. The weather conditions that day became much better and there was no risk of ruining the expensive old instrument.

On March 22, the first of them has been published and unexpectedly spread around the world with the speed of light. On March 25 and 30, three more videos have been recorded. The last two parts of the suite have been recorded a week later, on April 7. Right before the final video was shot, rockets hit a building a block away, but we managed to finish the project.

A few days after the end of filming, Svyatoslav Vakarchuk approached us with a proposal to record another video for the song of the band Okean Elzy - "Obiymy". At that time, he came to Kharkiv very often, so he decided to choose our city as a relevant place for recording. The premiere took place on April 23 at the Venice Biennale.

Camera: Oleksandr Osipov, Mykhailo Voronkov
Edit: Artem Dobrytskyi

The location was the Labor Palace, which Denys and I chose as a place to record our initial video in the "In the streets of Kharkiv" project, but we refused it due to difficulties in getting to the location. Together with Svyatoslav, the composition was performed by a string quartet with musicians from Kharkiv, which played at the first major live concert in Kharkiv since the beginning of the large-scale war - "Concert between explosions" at the "Historical Museum" metro station. That event took place on March 26, 2022 and was organized and held by Kharkiv Music Fest.


Vocals, piano: Svyatoslav Vakarchuk
Cello: Denys Karachevtsev
Violins: Stanyslav Kucherenko, Olha Pyschyta
Viola: Tetyana Zhuk

Locations and dates for filming

Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011:
1. Prelude. Victory Square. March 20, 2022.
2. Allemande. "Sportyvna" metro station. March 25, 2022.
3. Courante. Constitution Square. March 25, 2022.
4. Sarabande. Sumska Street. March 20, 2022.
5. Gavotte I. Courtyard on Myronosytska Street. April 7, 2022.
6. Gavotte II. The top floor of the Parallel'50 business center. April 7, 2022.
7. Gigue. National Academy of Public Administration under the President of Ukraine. March 20, 2022.

Project Trio "Cherry Blossoms":
Kharkiv Specialized School No. 134. March 30, 2022.