© Denys Tsybulko

»We love to talk about solidarity«

The problem is not a lack of interest in Eastern Europe, but in a scarcity of access to its narratives and perspectives, says Ukrainian writer and curator Mariana Berezovska ahead of Unsound Festival 2023.

  • Giada Dalla Bontà
2. Oktober 2023

The internationally acclaimed music festival Unsound has gained a reputation for identifying innovative scenes and radical sounds that defy conventional genre constraints, focusing on emerging, experimental, and leftfield genres. Founded in 2003, it has evolved and hosted events in New York, Adelaide, Toronto, and London, garnering immense popularity among Western audiences and critics, with its tickets being highly sought-after. 

However, what often goes unnoticed is the festival's profound link to the Eastern and Central European context, and its long-standing commitment to collaborating with curators and artists from the post-Soviet region, showcasing the region's vibrant cultural and musical heritage. After all, not only is Unsound based in Kraków, but it also ambitiously organized eleven festivals in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Caucasus between 2016 and 2018.

Following this often-disregarded aspect, I sat down with expert Mariana Berezovska to gain deeper insights into the challenges and misconceptions surrounding Eastern European music in the Western landscape through her own voice and experience. Our discussion ranged from the importance of recognizing and addressing Western biases to understanding that our perspective is but one of many