Pavel Brăila

I really miss dancing
neon tubes and plexiglas 77 cm
Location: Ștefania Palace

Pavel Braila’s neon light installation on display in the foyer of a former local bar, now closed, featuring the words “I really miss dancing” can be read as a longing for joy, community and togetherness following the crises of the recent years.

Vera means Belief
Video, 20 min
Location: Ștefania Palace

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Moldova has been the closest transit hub for refugees fleeing south Ukraine. It was here that the artist Pavel Braila encountered the 72-year-old pensioner Vera Derevianko. Over the last year, Vera’s house has been a blue tent in the Palanca refugee camp, situated on the Moldovan-Ukrainian border. She has refused to leave her ”blue lagoon” despite many offers of better accommodation, explaining that she wants to be as close as possible to her home and to her children and grandsons, who have remained in Ukraine, despite the constant threat of bombardment. Meanwhile, her relationship with her children is complex, as they have different points of view. Vera is a homo sovieticus. Like many Ukrainians she has been experiencing reckoning with her beliefs and a reconciliation with reality. The film focuses on Vera's indefatigable character, her relationships with her family, people from the camp, stray animals and her poetry, which she writes. These poems are full of chilling images of loss and destruction, but they also reveal hope and a love for life - all of which Vera comes to embody in this film. 


Pavel Brăila works in various mediums, such as video, photography, performance and installation. In his films and performances he invites the viewer to participate in his world of cultural observation of Moldova, for which he often investigates things, social absurdities that escape the global geopolitical discourse. His film “Definitively Unfinished” was awarded in 2009 at the Oberhausen International Film Festival. In 2013 his performance piece  “Ink Ribbon Fingerprints” got the CELESTE PRIZE. In 2015 Braila’s concept of the pavilion of the Republic of Moldova at the World Expo in Milano was nominated for the best public architecture at the Idea-Tops Award. He was invited twice to Documenta (2002/2017) and he participated in Manifesta 10 (2014).