ResidencyBakota Hub

Hosting periodAutumn 2023


My name is Katarina, I’m a cover singer. I was born in Donbas, in the small town of Mykolaivka, Kramatorsk District. Came to the @bakotahub residency with the support of Artists at Risk (AR) to release my first song. This is a song about the inner dialogues of an ordinary Ukrainian woman who explores her mental health, sense of dignity and encourages others to do the same. I started playing music since I was in kindergarten, I was noticed by people from the House of Culture and at the age of 6 I was invited to sing at the city’s day celebrations. It was then that I realized that being a singer is the dream of my life. Until the age of 16, I performed at school, then at the Slavic Professional Art Lyceum, where I studied. Until my city became occupied in 2014. After that I stopped doing music for 8 years. In 2022, after the full-scale invasion of Russia, I was again forced to move to the Dnipro. Here I returned to singing. Since then, I have been actively working in the music field. In 2022, we recorded a cover and shot a music video for ILLARIA’s song “Strength” with my former vocal teacher and the girls who also studied with her. In 2023, I started performing at concerts in Dnipro with a cover program. And I became a resident of “Bakota Hub” from AR, where I started working on writing my personal songs.

Story of experience of risk, relocation and/or exile

I am a native of the small town of Mykolaivka, which is near Slovyansk in the Donetsk region. I have been singing since childhood. In 2014, my mother and I were forced to flee from the occupation to Berdyansk, and in order to survive, I went to work at the age of 17 on the beach as a body-art artist. Something broke in me at that moment, and I stopped singing. It was necessary to survive. In March 2022, I had to move again and flee from the war. Now I have the status of a refugee, and I temporarily live in the city of Dnipro. I returned to vocals only 8 years later, when a full-scale war began. I realized that it is time to realize the dream of my whole life – to become a singer, to touch and heal the souls and hearts of people through my music. I felt: “When, if not now?”, because life is changeable, and can be cut off at any moment by an occupier’s missile. Since then, I have been developing in music every day. I really wanted to get into the AR residency to write my first song.

Projects created during the residency period

The musical improvisation is inspired by the fascinating nature of Bakota, its wild rocks, deep waters, and local flavor. Each of the musicians played the melody of his soul on the instruments, my instrument is the voice. With my singing, I wanted to express wildness, wisdom, the roots of the Ukrainian people and the connection with nature. After creating this improvisation, I had the idea to shoot a small video clip with the views of Bakota together with other residents.

Watch video here

The second project is my first song. Now the song is at the stage of writing the arrangement in the recording studio. The release date is still unknown, since after writing the arrangement, recording in the studio, you need to issue a copyright and involve a promotion company. After these stages, the release date of the song will be known, and then I will be able to provide the materials.

This programme is organised by Perpetuum Mobile (PM) as part of the Artists at Risk (AR)-Network in partnership with UNESCO and with the support of Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and Teiger Foundation.