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Centre of Cultural Development “TOTEM”

You are welcomed by the Centre of Cultural Development «Totem» from the city of Kherson, Ukraine. Since 1999 we have been working for social and cultural changes, for development of personality, community, society. Creative ideas and their skilful realization are two components of success of our public organization.

Dream Gogolfest / Visual program

In 2020 for the first time Kherson became the site of the largest festival of contemporary art in Ukraine – Gogolfest. This international multidisciplinary festival presented a number of programs: theatre, music, education, visual, performance. 

Post-industrial heritage as art

The aim of the project was fixation, re-thinking and art transformation of post-industrial heritage of Kherson. The project combined practices of art-revitalisation and audience development.

“Red Line” site-specific performances in Kherson


Site-specific performance is an artistic method of interaction between people and environment (in particular urban). The performers explore space, trying to feel its geometry, dynamics or statics, opportunities and constraints.  


«WE ARE THE ONE»: fashion-game and calendar 2021


The COVID-19 epidemic has changed the world.  On the one hand, all of us faced with limitations, border closures and isolation.  On the other hand, it became not only clear but physically apparent also that the world is global indeed.   


“TURBINE” generates new energy for Kherson


We announce the official start of large-scale project, which Kherson waited for a long time. New creative space "TURBINE" will open its door in 2020. It will be a common space, which will unite inhabitants of Kherson and bring together entrepreneurs, NGOs, initiative groups and active citizens to develop the city.  


Site of specific performance. Kherson 


Site-specifics performance is a poetry of physicality in urban space. It is modern co-operation of human and city. Anybody could be a part of this kind of contemporary art. We made this unique experiment in Mishkolts (Hungary) in 2018, and now in city of Kherson (Ukraine). We got unforgettable experience. 


Urban ART unites artists in post-industrial space 


This festival united creative people of Kherson with the idea of art-revitalization of former industrial territories, located in the city centre. 24 artists from Kherson, Odessa, Mykolaiv, Kyiv created their art-works in Urban Garden since April to June 2019.


17th festival «Terra Futura»


2018. Modern poetry, star photography, art performances from South Korea, happening in Botanical Garden – it is 17th festival «Terra Futura». This year we remembered Vasilisk Gnedov –. poet-futurist, who lived in Kherson, author of «Poem of Gesture» or «Poem of The End», which hadn’t words and was read from white sheet of paper by one gesture of arm. So what is art gesture today? 


Urban talks: Kherson & l'viv


August 27, 2018 in Urban CAD meeting «Urban talks: Kherson & l'viv» took place. Together with our partners – Business association “We Khersonians” we invited team from Lviv and city mayor Andriy Sadovoy to present their experience of development city strategy, because Lviv is only one city in Ukraine which designed and realised strategy of urban development.


Site-specific performances in Hungary


July 2018 Totem CCD presented Ukraine on Summer Academy “Actors of Social Changes” in Hungary, which for 2 weeks united theatres of different genres. We presented Totem Centre Theatre Lab and Insight dance group (Kherson, UA) – together we organised workshops for international participants and involved them to the site-specific performances creation and documentation.


16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence


Centre of cultural development “Totem" joined in with an international campaign, which was initiated in 1991. It runs every year from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day.


Centre of cultural development “Totem” created animation for educational video of “Zahyst” foundation about participatory democracy.

What is a participative decision-making? What are the stages of civic participation? How to establish network connections between the authorities and different groups of citizens? Learn more!

Support by USAID / ENGAGE Program

Maidan. Tahrir.


We will never forget two Maidans in Ukraine. Egypt had 25 ones. The biggest mass meetings took place on Tahrir – the central square of Cairo and they were the same bloody, as well as in Ukraine. What did they give our countries? How do the two different people perceive democracy? And are they so different actually? The personal view of the events in Cairo and the parallel with the Ukrainian realities were presented by the Totem Center and the Kherson Branch of the Sociological Association of Ukraine on April, 4 in Kherson during the premiere of the experimental play “The Runaway” in a format of testimonial theater.

“Terra Futura”
is looking for
"Inner Ukraine"


In November 17-23 the 13th festival of contemporary art "Terra Futura-2014" was held in Kherson. The organizer is CYI "Totem" under support of the grant competition "i³ [idea - impulse - innovation] by Rinat Akhmetov Fund “Development of Ukraine”.

Art in «Urban Garden»  


«Totem» Centre invites you to the new urban art-location, where we organise series of exhibitions, culture events, artist talks. Our purpose is to present well-known and new names in art of Kherson, to form a cultural dialog, develop an artistic collaboration with other regions of Ukraine and other countries, to bring over young people to 

«Don’t take me off from my tree 2.0»  


On May, 21, 2016, in the day of Europe in Ukraine the second presentation of the play «Don’t take off me from my tree» took place. However it was totally new play, because after the end of the Workshop «Diversity for peace» participants went their homes to share new impressions, new knowledge and new experience,

Totem Centre Theatre Lab

«Don’t take me off from a tree» 


Documentary play of such name became a practical result of 7-daily Workshop «Diversity for peace». Obviously, there we told about genealogical tree, because this play was created on the base of interview with the representatives of different nationalities and personal family stories of participants. 

Workshop in Kherson: new experience, indelible impressions 


Young participants from Kherson, Mykalayev, and Odessa worked together with the new inhabitants of Kherson – migrant from Donetsk and Lugansk.

Diversity for peace

«Totem» Center invites to participate new enthralling project! The project is devoted to the multicultural variety of the South of Ukraine that means that we will study different national cultures, extend our horizons, dug down to our roots, and share our discoveries.

Art-approach to dialog

Heroes is one of the most difficult and conflict topic in the society. Under changing circumstances the recognized at one time hero can become an antihero or go out into oblivion. Or other situation: the same character is perceived by different parts of the society as a hero and antihero simultaneously. Who are  these heroes? Where they come from and why we need them? We invited different artists to 3-days workshop. At first they studied this theme, and then presented the results of their creative researches on an exhibition «(SUPER)Heroes : reloading». 


New era. New technologies.

The BIVNI in a new format



CYI "Totem" issued the BIVNI youth newspaper since 1996. We covered all events which were of interest to us and which were anyway related to our understanding of the world order. We tried to be diverse, but at the same time recognizable. The age of our journalists fluctuated from 13 to 84 years old. Materials of articles were kept within the scale from high journalism to a provincial self-conscious writing. We didn't publish verses, but preferred comics. We created the Kherson chronicles which became a model of subjective covering of objective news, we thought out the convincing fakes imitating reality better than the reality was, we overcame a threshold of perception and sneered at presidents. We were awarded and damned. We were celebrated in cinema and concert halls and forbidden in educational institutions. Circulation of the newspaper was handed over and read to holes and was set fire at our favorite office.

Before we make a final decision to be digital, we want to remember that BIVNI which smelled as paint, soiled hands, rustled under school desks, was filed in the big cardboard folder with the inscription "Filing" and even was an excellent material for design clothes.


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