The courtyard is a model of the universe.

People are like planets in it; each has its orbit.

Tell me about your yard; tell me about your dream.

We will launch it into the sky.

I am a part of the cosmos,

just like you.

“MICROCOSMOS” poster, 2021. © Daria Pugachova. Photo: Ann Evstigneeva

“Microcosmos” is a documentary movie about life in the post-Soviet neighborhood of Polovky in Poltava (Ukraine) made at the end of 2021. The artist roams the neighborhood as an astronaut. She talks with residents of Polovky about their dreams, life, and memories of their childhood in the yards where they live. After these encounters the artist performs at a stadium, launching their dreams out to space.

The premiere of “Microcosmos” took place in Poltava in February 2022 at the Jump Contemporary Art Centre. At the exhibition, the artist, in addition to the film, presented a series of portraits of the residents of Polovky and an astronaut's suit with patches that embodied their dreams. In two weeks, Russia started a war in Ukraine, and the exhibition was closed.

“The idea of the movie was born when I came back to my hometown, to the yard where I grew up. I noticed that life there is the same, as I remembered it. And even some of my peers from childhood were sitting on the same bench. So I was thinking about what makes one person explore the world and go beyond the borders. And some people just stay in the same place for their whole life. My answer was ‘a dream’. If you continue dreaming, this inner fire makes you move through life and explore the universe.”

At the end of March 2022, Daria left Ukraine and came to Sofia (Bulgaria) to continue her work as an artist. She managed to deliver objects from Ukraine to Bulgaria and opened the exhibition “Microcosmos” again in the KO-OP gallery in Sofia. She also presented the film in front of the ruined cinema "Cosmos" in the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv as part of the Context AiR residency.

In the Fall of 2022, Daria won a Piccadilly Lights Prize in an international contest Class of 2022 from CIRCA x Dazed. “Microcosmos” was shown at Piccadilly Lights in London as well as in Berlin, Seoul, and Melbourne on the big screens around the cities.

“MICROCOSMOS”, Class of 2022 CIRCA x Dazed, Piccadilly Lights, London, 2022. © Daria Pugachova. Photo: Joseph Beeching