Davra research group

(c) Raziya Karimova – Dances of the Bakhor Ensemble

DAVRA research group's mission is to connect and develop the Central Asian art scene by fostering dynamic exchanges of experiences and knowledge within the region as a priority.

The research group’s focus is to study and re-imagine Central Asia today.

The group was initiated in 2021 by Saodat Ismailova as an extension of her project “Chilltan” for documenta fifteen and since then they've been actively working both in Central Asia and beyond. For documenta fifteen, DAVRA held a 41 day summer public program and its mirroring sequence in Central Asia during winter.

They’ve produced a book “Chilltan: Shapeshifting eternal spirits from Central Asia” reimagining mythological entities through visual and textual imagery. After our experience at documenta, the group collaborated with many collectives like Gudskul, Pari and more to create “Fridzine”, a zine that explores a museum, specifically Fridericianum an oldest European museum, as a decolonial space suitable for all types of communal activities.

Since 2023, DAVRA curated several Central Asian video and film screenings that took place in the Eye Museum (Netherlands), Centre Pompidou (France), goEast23 Film festival (Germany) to showcase different artistic and social statements important to the region.

DAVRA collective’s artistic residency, which takes place in 2023 as part of the Biennale Matter of Art 2024, curated by Aleksei Borisionok and Katalin Erdődi, is organized by the tranzit.cz initiative. The tranzit.cz art residencies are supported by the City of Prague and the ERSTE Foundation.