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RESISdANCE is a Justice in Motion dance project that highlights the plight of refugees, their journey & their stories, and yet celebrates their resilience, their strength, their beauty and vulnerability.

“We cannot fight in this war in the usual way, as our Ukrainian men do. (…) Therefore, I am proud to be a part of this project… it’s my battlefield.”

In February 2023 a group of Ukrainian refugee women came together with local dancers from Oxfordshire, to stand or rather dance together in solidarity against the war. We created a dance piece that could be performed as a Flashmob, based on the emotional journeys of the refugee women. An original soundtrack was composed for the piece, inspired by traditional Ukrainian music.

On the 24th February to mark one year since the invasion of Ukraine we performed the Flashmob at Oxford Train Station. Train stations have become a lifeline for many people caught in the conflict. They offer a means of escape from the violence and a way to access aid and supplies. It felt fitting to perform this piece in our local station. The Flashmob was highly moving for those involved and those that found themselves as audience members.

We then performed the Flashmob a second time as part of a special International Women’s Day event at Oxford Town Hall, and have bigger plans on the horizon – sign up to our mailing list to keep informed.

Below you can see video of the performance and exhibition at OVADA Gallery during Oxford Festival of the Arts from 6-9th July 2023 – which included the women’s stories, and their portraits taken by Ukrainian photographer Vadym Gurevych.

Listen to the words from some of the Ukrainian refugee women who took part in the RESISdANCE project.

“It was really powerful”

It was really powerful to see the emotion and connection between them

Audience Member

“I had a huge sense of satisfaction, healing and pride”

At the end of our performance, I had a huge sense of satisfaction, healing and pride that I had played my small part in this terrible war

Ukrainian Participant

“Touched my soul”

This event touched my soul

Audience Member

“We can show people what we went through”

We can show people what we went through, and how it is hard for all Ukrainian refugees

Ukrainian Participant

Creative Team

Artistic Direction: Anja Meinhardt.
Creative Collaborator: Krystal Dawn Campbell
Ukrainian Collaborator: Maryna Soloviova
Soundtrack: Quentin Lachapele
Film: Ignite Creative
Portrait Photography: Vadym Gurevych
Photography: John Cairns

Dates

 

2023

24 February – Oxford Railway Station

8 March – Oxford Town Hall (International Women’s Day)

6 July – OVADA, Oxford (performance & exhibition)

7-9 July – OVADA, Oxford (exhibition)

Partners

In partnership with Oxford Festival of the Arts and OVADA. With support from Multaka Oxford at Pitt Rivers.