Valeriy Puzik [ Ukraine ]
Ukrainian artist, writer, and director Valeriy Puzik was born in 1987 in Telizhyntsi in the region of Khmelnytskyi. His paintings and artwork have been shown in exhibitions and museums both in Ukraine as well as internationally. He is the author of a number of books. »Bezdomni psi« (2018; tr: Homeless Dogs) and »Monolit« (2018) are collections of short prose for which Puzik has won several awards. The stories focus on, among other topics, fighters who return home after anti-terrorist operations. Puzik describes their feelings in a highly realistic way while avoiding all pathos. He himself had reported to the front in 2015 and participated in the fighting in the Donbass as part the 5th Battalion of the Ukrainian Volunteer Corps. Together with his comrades, he also made a short documentary film called »Ceasefire«, whose plot unfolds in the early days of the conflict, when a ceasefire was announced in eastern Ukraine on February 15, 2015, and shows the apocalyptic landscapes in the Donetsk region after the destruction. In 2016, the film received a special jury prize at the »86« festival of the »Palma Piwnoci« (tr: Palm of the North) national documentary competition. In the same year, the film was released throughout Ukraine as part of the »Ukrainian Experiment« project.
Puzik’s book »Ja baciv jogo zhywym, mertvym i znowu zhywym« (2020; tr: I Saw Him Alive, Dead and Alive Again) was one of the top 20 Ukrainian prose books of 2020, according to the Ukrainian PEN Club. In it, Puzik writes about childhood, feelings and relationships, as well as war and peace in an almost impressionistic style and displays his mastery in describing details and situations. »Shakhta. Rankowe zwedennja« (2021; tr: Mine. Morning Report) is a documentary novel and a selection of poems by Puzik which were written in the period from 2015 to 2020 and reflect his experiences in the volunteer corps. In 2021 Puzik’s fantasy children’s book »Delfi ta tschariwniki« (tr: Delphi and the Wizards) was published as the first book in an eponymous series.
In addition to his writing activities, Puzik is also a director and screenwriter. Several of his documentary short films and video clips were screened at the Docudays UA, 86, Open Night, Double 20″, and Cottbus festivals. He is the screenwriter of the miniseries »Blindash« (tr: Blindage; directed by Volodymyr Tykhy), based on real experiences of Ukrainian soldiers of the anti-terrorist operation in Donbass. Later, a full-length feature film »Our Cats« was created on the basis of the miniseries (screenwriter and director: Volodymyr Tykhy).
Valeriy Puzik’s video poetry »Proshchannja mish zirok« (tr: Farewell between the Stars; text: Oksana Zabushko) was shown at the opening of the »Read My World« festival in Amsterdam in 2016. The piece was also featured in the main program of the 5th Odessa Biennial of Contemporary Art »Zona turbulentnosti« (tr: Zone of Turbulence) in 2017. In 2019, poems by Valeriy Puzik appeared in the anthology »Tam, de vdoma« (tr: Where Home Is). Puzik has also worked as a journalist for various online media and newspapers. He has won a number of literary competitions, such as »Smoloskip«, »Granoslov«, and »Novela po-ukrainski« and was awarded, among others, the Olesya Ulyanenko Literary Prize. He lives in Odesa.
Там, де вдома
Наші Котики. Бліндаж
(у співавторстві з Володимиром Тихим)
кіноповість та дев’ять новел
Я бачив його живим, мертвим і знову живим
Видавництво Старого Лева
Шахта. Ранкове зведення
Делфі та чарівники