BALAKLAVA ODYSSEY – Media Art and Performance Festival 

Cultural Substitution of Military Objects in Crimea (Ukraine) 


Balaklava is situated in the extreme south of the Crimean peninsula; its roots stretch to very ancient times. Twenty years ago this bay was closed for tourists and civilians, due to one of the most secret installations of the Soviet Union: a hangar for submarines and a storage space for nuclear armaments. Only due to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the liquidation of the Black Sea Fleet was Balaklava opened. Today it exists as a huge unexplored territory and historical lab.


The “Balaklava Odyssey” festival, which took place in the tunnels that perforate the Taurus Mountain, established a counterpoint to the recent military past of the Black Sea bay and sought to uncover its cultural and historical diversity. Artists and filmmakers from nine countries were invited to work in a spectrum of media that ranged from the visual arts to live performances, and which referred to the history of Balaklava. The results of the creative work were presented in August 2006 for three days in the tunnels, canals, and workshops of the submarine hangar, which is now used as a Ukrainian museum. The visitors passed 1.5 kilometers along the long underground exhibition corridor where exhibits alternated between graphic art and audio-visual performances.


The second edition of the festival took place in August 2010 in the Mikhailov-Fortress in Sevastopol (Crimea/Ukraine).


Sebastian KAISER, curator, dramaturg and filmmaker, b. 1977 (Berlin, Germany)

-1996-2002:Cultural and Theatre studies in Berlin, Moscow, Leipzig 

-since 2002: Author of TV-reports for German TV-channels (arte, ARD, 3Sat) and author of articles and essays 

-2007: Director of the documentary films “Object 825” and “Artur”;nominated for the “Golden Key” for the Best Film at the Documentary Festival Kassel 2007

-2006 and 2010: Author, Curator and Producer of the International Media Art&Performance Festival „Balaklava Odyssey“ (Balaklava and Sevastopol, Ukraine); (together with Roman Markholia)  HYPERLINK "http://www.balaklava-odyssey.com" www.balaklava-odyssey.com  

-since 2008: Dramaturg at the theatre Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz (Berlin, Germany)