Maryna Makarenko Graduation Project

Walking on a Sleeping Elk 2020

shortfilm, 3-channel installation, colour, sound, objects, 32:55 min

Stalkers are part of the subculture that emerged in the post-soviet countries in the 1990s. It was influenced by the post-apocalyptic fiction, film Stalker from Andrei Tarkovsky and the video game S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

Stalkers are individuals, mostly young men, who illegally go to the “zones”,- abandoned places that are forgotten, purposely hidden, invisible. A physical zone becomes a portal to the inner immaterial zone, where dreams, fears and desires merge together. Stalkers go through this as a process of initiation to become a better version of themselves. The world of stalkers is juxtaposed with the wildlife of the Zone of Exclusion, the post-nuclear-catastrophe site in the north of Ukraine that in the past 30 years has turned into a wilderness full of plant and animal life that is excluded from the human eye. The timeless Zone is a Noah’s Ark, one of the few places on the planet that remains untouched.

To navigate through the Zone, stalkers need a map, that becomes a visual representation of the country inside of the country. These maps together with interviews, images made with the nightlife camera traps and aerial footage of  architecture of the Zone morph into a video collage that depicts an invisible world of transformation of human and non-human bodies.

Installation view