Utopian Unemployment Union /London 23

by invitationto the project Drawing in Social Space Project 2

I was invited to lead Project Artist for ‘Drawing in Social Space Project 2’, a knowledge exchange project with Camberwell College of Arts Fine Art and Drawing Room in London.

The outcome of the process was the performative drawing session in St -Michaels church. 

This church was chosen by curators Renee Odjidja and Misty Ingham as the most organic place for this workshop because our target was to bring together art students of the college and migrants and they contacted PACT, which is a sort of a caring club for local migrant community, where migrants with kids are gathering regularly.

Gluklya proposed to extend the idea of drawing to the scale of the body and came up with the preposition for the original design of the “WESTS WITH ATTACHED PENCILS “, which allows drawing and dance at the same time. The workshop starts with breathing exercises, which Rene kindly shared with the group, and then talks about well-being, and what it means, using the Spiral Technic method.

The Spiral Technic method of brainstorming Gluklya was adopted via pandemic Zoom sessions from Finland Sisters. The method is strict following the short periods of time during the round discussions. The facilitator is controlling the time and feels free of hesitation to interrupt the speaker if it came to a violation.

Gluklya proposes to think about Well being as something which embraced also the dark side of each of us and asked Misty to read a poem, which she wrote for this encounter.  

Club of Unpredictable Drawing

Performative encounter with PACT + Students

Spontaneous drawing session is dedicated to Well Being.

Wellbeing is an abstract notion and because of the nature of its abstract universality it is open for our interpretations. I propose to think about the wellbeing through the lenses of imagination and unpredictability. Unpredictability can be resolved through the spontaneousness, which in turn can be understood as a result of the freedom to do the action which is coinciding with our entire feeling of truth, which in other turn can be understood as a creation of the entire free space which might lead to the act of the creativity.

The other notion I propose to explore during our encounter is the movement. We are all migrants and defending the idea of the rights of migration we are interested in moving matters. A combination of moving and drawing might bring us to the de-conventionalization of the idea of a drawing as just sitting in one place and focusing on the particularity.

When we are lost the time is our friend.

Practical realization :

The group of 4 students, 2 observers ( Misty and Renee ), several parents ( some of them might be with kids ) and artist Gluklya are gathering in the circle . Gluklya invite everybody to share a thought about well-being. What it might mean for each of us. Gluklya also explain the rule of this session: everybody has to speak not more than 3 min. We will do one or two rounds of speaking like this. One of the Observers is controlling the time and after every 3 min is saying: Clock!

After that, when all the ideas about the well-being is collected, the wests with the drawing tools will be introduced to people and everybody is welcomed to dress them on.

Gluklya will explain the rules: Everybody are invited to move freely in the room, trying to mark the surface of paper by the attached drawing tool.

We might do two sessions: one with closed eyes and other with open eyes

Students are invited to listen carefully one by one each of the parents and write down or record the impressions of different outcome: with open eyes and close eyes.

After the session Gluklya and students and all participants are connecting stains made by unpredictable drawing session together by the red color.

Session finished.

The graphic outcomes might be used by Pact in their future campaigns.

Drawings in relation to the exhibition To those who have no time to play /2023

Workshop, September 2021

Altyn-Kazyk, Bishkek

Workshops with We Are Here

Gluklya Studio


All questions Matras Platform

  • What is your name?
  • Are you afraid of emptiness?
  • Are you afraid of nothingness?
  • What can you do when you are confused?
  • How did she manage to survive here?
  • Is it still art when you are using Hashtags? 
  • Is it still communication when you are not?
  • Is it better to youre a hashtag/name or is it better if i don’t?
  • We all, what do we think about life?
  • Why are there still people sleeping on the steet?
  • Where begins the night? What is the night for human (beings)?
  • Do we always have a freedom of choice?
  • Do we agree to disagree?
  • Are we afraid of mistakes?
  • Do you know which way to go?
  • Shall we think better before promising?
  • What is colder -weather or distance ? (from Murad from prevous project)Actully it was a shame moment when he came and we did not react proper on his appearence and he dissapeared very soon )


  • Finding the right words at the right moment is the action

Burning the Dress – Purpluscode, Jakarta, 2020

Dear people! 

My name is Gluklya, I am of Russian origin, living now in Amsterdam and St-Petersburg (RU), artist and therapist, acting individually.

I am also a co-founder and member of the multidisciplinary platform chto delat https://chtodelat.org

I am welcoming you to perform together on the 27 February at 1 pm in Purpluscode building! 

Please bring a garment with you that you would like to burn!

I believe that art can heal and give strength and that we need to invent other rituals that can mobilize our community in our dark times. Other rituals than the ones that society forces us to do every day. Let’s resist artificial strategy of our governments to separate us from each other and form our own needs and feelings.

I propose to burn the clothes that brought you disappointment or pain. Something that you want to forgive and forget. I propose to see burning as an act of forgiving, because only after forgiving you can forget.

Let me share with you the preposition of our meeting :

1 pm

Art talk of Gluklya as an intro to the performance 

2 pm

Sharing the stories of clothes that you want to burn 

3 pm 

Burning the garments 

4 pm 

Celebration feast

5 pm

Departure because of traffic

Let s upgrade ourselves collectively!

Maybe during the process of this performance, we will come to new revitalizing solutions for us and society. It is our journey and I am welcoming you to step into it!

Sincerely yours,


I have constructed the situation to share the negative experiences that have happened with the members of the purpluscode community. We talked and focused on the clash between the personal and the political. There were stories about sexual and psychological assault, a frustration about nobody coming to the open call, and others.
I proposed to burn the clothing pieces that were acting as a reminder to the unpleasant experiences that people carry. After the act of burning, liberational sprits came upon us, and we had an open discussion.

Realization of Your Dream

Performance in Jatiwangi Art Factory, Indonesia /2020

I have constructed the situation for the focused tet-a-tet Dialogue about the Realization of Your Dream in the Bamboo Shelter for the Good Spirit, which I have built with the help of wonderful workers. The topic came from the Community. In the context of the decolonization process, I refused to work with my own topic, but took the one which was already there.

I have invited people to speak about their dream and then asked them to draw it.

It was amazing to discover that interest in European Psychoanalysis is present there. The combination of Islam, Marxism, and Psychoanalysis gave an interesting context for the performance and a boost for the research in general.

I intended to leave the Bamboo Shelter for the Good Spirit for the Community so that the inhabitants might have the opportunity to use it further for the development of the new method of Indonesian Psychoanalysis.

The frame of my research is the study of decolonization processes in Europe and Russia with the help of interviews, performances, and workshops, with the outcome of the exhibition in Framer Framed in Amsterdam and other places.

The Motivation behind my trips to Indonesia and post Soviet Asian countries is to discover the techniques and knowledge of a healthy collaboration between body, mind, and spirit by learning about it from rituals and stories and inventing new rituals and learning narratives to establish a new context of the mutual exchange between Asia and Europe.

Workshop with students from Artez master programm /Arte Utill, 2019

This workshop was extraordinary.

We managed to construct a space of trust between us.

At first, I was dealing with the issue of the frame of the ArteUtil concept and the experimental rules that the Artez team exposed to me as one of the artists.


The idea was to try to “learn from doing” and to send a couple of artists to an “adult” artist in Amsterdam to help artists in their daily routine. 

I was thinking about what type of daily routine I should do when I decided to shift to the kind of “therapy mentor-comrade care” approach.

I have to share my knowledge with the students and to help them in overcoming their fears and to grow better. As usual, I was trying to stay open to learning from students as well. They came from Peru and Colombia, and I did not know much about these countries.

We started with dealing with a bunch of drawings from the previous project in Bijlmer Bajes. We talked about their possible classification and then moved to the discussion about family bonds, stereotypes of gender, and relationships with the body.

Malena and Lina surprised me with how interesting their understanding of the body is. We talked about the “naked body of mother “, for example.

I showed them my Museum of the Utopian Clothes, told stories about the dresses and they exposed the desire to do something with a dress. 

They introduced me to the Chia seeds fashion and proposed to grow Chia seeds right inside the very beautiful evening dress that I have found at Waterloo in Amsterdam.

The Chia seeds were planted into the dress. After one week, lots of green sprouts grew out of them. Another week passed by, and the spouts started to decay. I was watching this process unravel in my studio. 

Malena had a few thoughts after this experiment that she shared with me:

“Gluklya is a fantastic, one of a kind artivist, who welcomed me and my peer Lina into her world for a month and a half. During our workshops in her studio in Amsterdam, I got to explore her methods and perspectives through her drawings, costumes, stories, and food. During each session, we created a ritual. They came out of discussions we shared regarding topics of feudalism, sexism, and racism, fueled by our mothers’ stories and status in society, which helped us bridge the distance between our home countries: Peru, Colombia, and Russia. As an outcome, we created a quipu (a unique form of ancient communication and information storage used by the Inca Empire and their predecessors in South America), as a tool for taking a break, breathe and heal, combining our rituals. Through the quipu, we invited a few guests to take the time to think. And if there’s nothing to think about, to take the time to breathe. I feel inspired by her work and methodology, I carry it with me now on my journey of becoming an Artist Educator.” 

– Malena Ugaz | Interactive/Media/Designer | Based in Geneva

Lina also had things to share:

“For me working with Gluklya was getting immersed in a research process that was constantly moved through intuition. 

We created dialogues from within, and through aesthetic experiences, we created dialogues between us. 

We had a very powerful work of finding subtle connections by allowing ourselves to be vulnerable in the working space. 

I felt very comfortable and cared for in our working sessions. 

We talked and got to know each other and our ideas through drawing. 

We went on adventures to the Waterloo market, learned to talk the language of textures, and used textiles to approach our feelings and ideas of the body. 

We played with video and photography. 

We were gardeners of chía seeds in dresses and gardeners of our own emotions and stories.

Personally, I feel that she encouraged me to pursue my bodywork as part of my artistic research. 

As a closure of our research project, we performed a ritual/workshop to create a common body of stories through the use of the ancient Andean Quipu device.

It was a very powerful experience of approaching the search for group synergy. 

Working with Gluklya was a rich aesthetic and artistic experience to create connections with others and with the world. “



Workshop in Leipzig 2019

Dear Participants! 

I am inviting you to bring some item of the garment from your garderobe which is significant for you concerning the transmission of reinvention of your personality.

It might be: Encounter with somebody, the memory of the grandparents whom you never will see any more or who are still alive, clothes as a witness for Love or Hate story, or : Maybe you have some piece of clothing which was with you when you decided to pay attention to the other people s destiny ? Or you may participate in protest with these clothes? Or you probably overcome the fear by wairing this T-shirt?

We will listen together with the story around your item and decide what we should do with it. Probably some ritual or some altruistic jester, or if you want to try a collective therapy we might bury the cloth which has brought you a disappointment that you want to forget. Then we will find together what we should do with your item and create a collective dance around it. 

Waiting for our encounter! 

Sincerely yours, Gluklya

Workshops with participants in formel prison Bijlmer Bajers Amsterdam /2017

Workshops for preparation for Carnival of the Oppressed Feelings 2017

My project with people waiting for their status in AZC Bijlmer Bijes in  Amsterdam started from the renting studio on formel prison Bijlmer Bajes, where all kinds of people can rent the studios and also refugees were placed there by the Dutch Government at one of the towers. I gave a series of workshops in Amsterdam for refugees and newcomers to understand if it is possible to create a performance piece with people without a special art or theater education.
My idea was based on the belief that any person is open to a new unconventional way of knowledge and that we can find the platform of mutual exchange by providing a platform of equality. Renting a studio at Lola Lik seemed easy to get access to refugees who are living at the AZC ‘next door’.
Lola Lik (kind of anti-squat organization)was situated at the formal prison Bijlmer Bayes- a hub for all kinds of entrepreneurs and startups situated right near the AZC where 600 refugees from Syria, Africa, Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan were living during the procedure of getting the status of the Dutch citizenship.
But we and my colleagues seemed to have underestimated the subject of bureaucratic rules surrounding refugees and their special conditions during this transitional period.


Workshop in Palermo

Gluklya (Natalia Pershina-Yakimanskaya) _ Workshop @ MANIFESTA 12, Palermo /Collaterial events /2018

Together with  TAAK, Amsterdam and NoMade, Rome.The event  hosted by TMO/Teatro Mediterranean Occupato  /COPRESENCE

Gluklya’s Utopian Unemployment Union is a project uniting art, social science, and progressive pedagogy, giving people with all kinds of social backgrounds the opportunity to make art together. Her latest performance is the latest expression of this Union. The Carnival of Oppressed Feeling is the outcome of Gluklya’s encounters with refugees living at Bijlmerbajes, a former prison complex (in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Utopian Unemployment Union is a critical space to promote social innovation where thought becomes reality. Through an educational program with meetings and workshops for migrants and refugees, it aims to create and develop a path toward self-initiative and self-determination to escape rejection and exclusion.

The workshop aims to give shape to the implicit emotional experiences of people involved. The working method can be seen as a sort of experimental art therapy; it is defined by the artist herself as “formalization of fragility”, a way to give form to sensations and thoughts. For refugees it can often be difficult to translate thoughts into words, due to the lack of a shared language. During the workshop no traumas will be verbalised, the goal is to create something together and at the same time make the interaction between different groups of people less complicated.

GALLLERIAPIÙ represents Gluklya’s work in Italy. Together with the artist we realized in 2016 the project Utopian Unemployment Union of Bologna: Gluklya along with a small group made up of migrants, refugees and young students of the Fine Arts Academy of Bologna developed a new model to unite and redefine the relationship between the economy, art and social policies.


We now want to help Gluklya in finding motivated and engaged partners for the workshop that will take place at MANIFESTA 12 in Palermo, on 15 and 16 June 2018.

We are looking for:

-a LOCATION for the workshop

-a FILM MAKER for the video documentation

-a WRITER who will observe the workshop and write a text/diary

-PARTICIPANTS for the workshop, especially

NGOs open to experimentation 

Teenagers who believe in the idea to change society 

Refugees/migrants with a creative and open mind; who love drawing, singing, dancing,…

Teachers who are already teaching Italian to refugees

Academics and Students from the Linguistic Departments of the University http://www.unipa.it/strutture/scuolaitalianastranieri/ 

Gluklya’s workshop is something alive, not a product; it is in a state of becoming, which means it really depends on who will be the partners and participants!

Gluklya would be interested in developing UUU Palermo around the unification of Linguistics (academics, students) and Dancing and Music people. To unite people who are dealing with different languages: verbal and non-verbal.


via del Porto 48 a/b 

40122 Bologna 

+39 (0)51 6449537



Inspired by Natalie Pershina | Copyright © 2018