Involving collaborators from those whose lives are embedded in the region and those from afar, Dissolving Earths was due to launch in March 2020. Funded by The British Council, it was a casualty of blanket sanctions by the UK Foreign Office.

As an indigenous population and land colonized by Russia, many of the collaborators’ knowledge and work had already been silenced within the country; now treated as holders of Russian passports”, their voices were now silenced internationally too. Furthermore, permafrost underlies almost a quarter of the Northern Hemisphere landmass, but most of this is in Russia: urgent ecological research exchange has now been severed.

Backst_age will hold a space to discuss some of the implications of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on both the Dissolving Earths programme – its collaborations, concept and agency – and wider cultural activities bridging indigenous and ecological concerns, and how these have been navigated from within the country and externally.

Soledad Gutierrez, Chief Curator at TBA21, will chair a conversation between Dissolving Earths curator, Sophie J Williamson (Initiator and convenor, Undead Matter); curatorial team, Timur Zolotoev (former editor-in-chief, Strelka Mag); and Yulia Gromova (former Strelka Mag editor).

Sophie J Williamson


Yulia Gromova


Timur Zolotoev


Soledad Gutierrez

Soledad Gutiérrez Rodríguez is Chief Curator at TBA21 and Executive Producer of TBA21 on st_age. She has been working in the arts for the last twenty years, occupying different positions in various institutions from the Guggenheim Bilbao, to the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), and the Whitechapel Gallery in London. Most recently, she was the Director of CentroCentro in Madrid, where she developed a program based on contemporary artistic practice and collective learning. Her research deals with cooperative practices and the immaterial potential of art realized through performance and collective processes.