Kateryna Botanova

Kateryna Botanova was selected for the 2023 Shortlist with Defined by silence.

Kateryna Botanova is a Basel-based cultural critic, curator, and writer from Kyiv, Ukraine. She writes on decoloniality, solidarity, and care with a special focus on artistic practices and societal dynamics in the Global South, Eastern Europe, and Ukraine, in particular. She is a co-curator of multidisciplinary biennial Culturescapes (Basel, Switzerland) and an editor of its anthologies. Between 2010 and 2015 she was a director of the Center for Contemporary Art in Kyiv, as well as a founder and editor-in-chief of the online magazine Korydor. She is a member of PEN-Ukraine.

Her essays were included in Contemporary Ukrainian and Baltic Art. Political and Social Perspectives, 1991–2021. Ibidem, 2021; Future We Are Longing For. Tempora, 2020; Bridges Not Walls: What Unites Ukrainians. VSL, 2020.

Alla Konstantinova

Alla Konstantinova was selected for the 2023 Shortlist with She lost consciousness as it was happening and she’s actually grateful she did.” What we know about the rapes perpetrated in Ukraine by Russian soldiers.

Alla Konstantinova (34) before the start of the Russia’s invasion of Ukraine lived in a small Russian town called Petrozavodsk. She worked as a regional journalist and was a reporter of at small media outlet Mediazona focused on human rights affairs and police brutality. In September 2019, she wrote an article for Mediazonа about regular practice of torturing prisoners at local Correctional Colony No. 9 Petrozavodsk. Konstantinova was harassed by the prison warden and received threats from one of the colony officers during her investigation. That story was selected as runner-up for the 2020 European Press Prize The Investigative Reporting Award https://www.europeanpressprize.com/article/prisoners-of-a-penal-colony-tell-of-torture/. The head of the Colony No. 9 and his deputy were convicted only in February 2023. They were sentenced to seven years in prison.

In March 2022 Konstantinova left Russia because of the anti-war stance and possible threat of persecution, now she is in Lithuania. A month later she was included on the «foreign agents» list compiled by Russia’s Justice Ministry. In Russia, the term «foreign agent» is tantamount «traitor» or «spy». Konstantinova refuses to comply with the requirements of the Ministry of Justice and keeps writing about the war in Ukraine.