13:34 Jul. 10, 2016
Over the past year more than 800 Communist statues removed as part of Ukraine's efforts to break away from its Soviet past
On July 9, the temporary installation 'Inhabiting Shadows' by Mexican artist Cynthia Gutierrez was presented in central Kyiv at the former site of the Lenin monument.
That is the first monument to the Bolshevik leader that was toppled down by Ukrainian activists on December 8 2013, during the pro-European Maidan protests against the government of Moscow-backed former President Viktor Yanukovych.
The 'Inhabiting Shadows' project allows people to climb up the stairs, step on the empty pedestal of Lenin and feel like being a 'leader' for a while. The event was organized by the culture platform Izolyatsiya.
"It is important that this installation is temporary. It does not impose a certain ideology, and allows people just to stop for a moment and understand what we are doing with our past and how we see our future", said Kateryna Filyuk, curator of the 'Social 'ontract' project, Izolyatsia Fund.
According to her, before the organizers chose Cynthia Gutierrez's idea, they had launched a competition. They received 21 applications, including projects by Ukrainian and international artists.
One of these ideas was to get the pedestal buried in the ground and leave its tip on the surface. The artists wanted to pull it down to make the symbol stop pressing on people from above.
The falling of the monuments across Ukraine is being hailed as a symbol of independent Ukraine's push to modernise following the breakup of the Soviet Union. This is in line with a package of laws, adopted by the Ukrainian Parliament last year, which bans communist and Nazi regime symbols and propaganda. The renaming process is the latest step in Ukraine's efforts to break from its Soviet totalitarian past.