Asida Butba: "We are losing a world in which human life has value"

Asida Butba

AQW'A / SUKHUM -- The team of the Sklad platform, which has been working in Sukhum for several years and brings together creative young people of various specialities, published a post on Instagram saying that they were shocked by the war in Ukraine and, therefore, are suspending all public events. One of the founders of this platform, Asida Butba, spoke with Ekho Kavkaza about whether culture can silence guns.

- Asida, an asset of the Sklad cultural platform recently published a post on Instagram in which he expressed his attitude to the events in Ukraine. Tell me, please, what impression did they make on you?

- The impression, of course, is shocking, and I don’t even know what else to say. A state of shock and, perhaps, even a lack of understanding in general as to how to live with this further. Anyway, for me. And, it seems to me that we are losing a world in which human life has value. And it's very, very scary.

We can't pretend that nothing is happening, so at times like this it is very important to get together, it is very important to talk, it is very important to be in touch.

As for the reaction and our attitude, I think that the post that we released, it was the first reaction, because it is very difficult to do something right now. It is clear that all plans must be somehow related to what is happening, because continuing to function as if nothing happened is out of the question, I think. We can't pretend that nothing is happening, so in this situation and at times like this it's very important to get together, it's very important to talk, it's very important to be in touch. This is undeniable. And we will continue to do so. And, I think we will change our programme somewhat.

- Asida, what do you think can stand in opposition to destruction?

- “Unfortunately, I feel very pessimistic about this, because I feel that it is very difficult to counteract those who have weapons, power and the ability to shoot and destroy. But I think that now culture and art still have within them both the potential for unifying and the understanding that peace and life have value. Also today we understand that there are artists and writers working in Ukraine who are documenting what is happening to them, and they are conveying this. And, it seems to me, it's very important to pay attention to it.

- The cultural platform "Sklad" is conducting an interesting cultural programme in Sukhum. Will anything change in it due to the events that have taken place?

- This week we had planned to hold the premiere of our artist at the Sam Jury residence, which was based on the testimonies of people, on memories from Abkhazia. We are postponing this premiere, and I think we will show this film next week. And, of course, this work takes on a new meaning in the light of this unfolding war.

Now culture and art still carry the potential for unification and the understanding that peace and life are of value.

- The movie I'm talking about was directed by Sam Jury a few years ago. This was the residence (to which we invited her) dedicated to the archives destroyed during the Georgian-Abkhazian war. And, in fact, she came to put to people the question about what is the most important event uniting them? And it turned out that for everyone it was the war. And then she asked, in particular, about what was the first most vivid memory for them? Do they remember the day before the war? It turned out that no one remembers the day before the war. Everyone remembers how the war started. As a result, the film is based on memories of the beginning of the war.




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