Horn (Katerina Yermolaeva, 2016)

Audio installation.

Donetsk was founded in the 1870s as a settlement for workers of the metallurgical plant. The plant’s horn that marks the beginnings and ends of the shifts has been operative daily since 1873 and still remains an important and easily recognizable symbol of the city.

As a kid I often imagined a monster howling in the distance and it didn’t scare me but, on the contrary, calmed down. I used to hear this strange monotonous howl every day for all my life. It told me to wake up and go school, then to the university. It put me to sleep in the evening. I left Donetsk at the age of 27. On my first day in the new city, in new flat I’ve realized that I miss something very important. Being away from home was highlighted by the lack of familiar distant howl.

In all its history the horn was silenced three times. The first time was in 1941 during the WWII. The second time was in the 60s during the mass campaign against noise pollution. The third time was in the summer of 2014 года during intense fighting in the Eastern Ukraine.

For me the horn was silent since March 2014 when I was at home for the last time. I cannot wait to hear it again, to feel the calm presence of this sound taking me back to the peaceful past.