Armed and Dangerous is a platform bringing together a group of artists who work at the intersection of contemporary art and experimental cinema. Mykola Ridnyi initiated the project in the form of a video-series when he invited other authors to explore the phenomenon of violence by experimenting with video. The video-series explores the militarisation of society and, in particular, the attitude of the Ukrainian youth to violence and weapons. The images attempt to reflect the fragile condition of Ukrainian society, which is undergoing external military intervention in the East whilst also experiencing internal disruptions caused by the ultra-right movement.
Outbursts of violence in public space have become more frequent over the past few years. Alongside the increase in criminal acts, all forms of violence based on intolerance are increasing including national, racial, gender and religious-based violence. Regular brutal attacks by the far-right on Roma communities, LGBTQ+ representatives, and left-liberal artistic and political activists have been recorded. Wishing to defend itself against the aggression of the Russian Federation, Ukrainian society often neglects, and part of it even supports, the unacceptable actions of right-wing activists. Considering the private space, the strengthening of traditional values is being supported by the ruling powers. A lot of attention is devoted to the patriotic upbringing of children, which is being implemented in conjunction with the cult of force and weapons, both in schools and in special sports camps. Against this backdrop, the problem of domestic violence, the victims of which are predominantly women and children, remains virtually unnoticed.
The subject seeking an emancipated society in an aggressively conservative environment is reflected in the interrelation of everyday life, the Internet and cinema. A significant part of Ukrainian society is still finding out about local events through the TV. Young people are surrounded by activist video streams on the small screens of their smartphones and patriotic movies on the big screen. The perception of reality is predetermined by displayed representations and simulations. The more moving images determine social outlooks, the less linear the connection between objective reality and its representations on the screen becomes. Such a context pushes the artist to resort to inter-media artistic expressions, appropriating such forms of moving image as staged or documentary cinema, television broadcasting, video blogs or archival video materials, reflecting and going beyond the original sources.