War Witness Archive is an invitation to each person from the audience to escape from the inertia of an historical timeline by building a structure of connections between events. It is a unique format with which a chronicled archive is developed. The heterotopias are the spaces in which memory, time and historical gaps in the global landscape of modernity are generated, transforming a platform of the ‘living present’ into the ‘memories of the past’. The visitor encounters the photographic and historical archives of global events, the catastrophic nature of which can only be completely understood in retrospection.
It asks, ‘Can the person of today become a witness of these historical events, and add some form of clarity to them?’ By trying to understand global wars, the viewer becomes a party to them, projecting his current reactions and individual perceptions onto the historical archive. By embedding his reaction within the project, the participant creates a record, a ‘new history’ of its present and future development; participation determines its connection to the past for the future.
Olga Rybchinskaya, Aleksei Shinkarenko