On 17 October 2017, during the residence in Liverpool, organized by team of Liverpool Biennial, Maria Kulikovska had been invited to deliver a lecture at the Liverpool John Moores University. The Ukrainian artist decided to give the lecture-performance about her art on the raft with regard to her performance-travel «Raft CrimeA», which had recently been held in Ukraine. The raft was a territory, which symbolically and metaphorically consisted of the performative and sculptural practice of Kulikovska of that time.
«I tied myself up to the raft by a rope. It was specially delivered from Ukraine. I put on a life jacket. Together with the raft we were like a Joseph Beuys with his coyote: at the beginning we were not able to understand who will be dominant and who will win in the end. In any case, my «Raft CrimeA» became part of me, we had each other's backs and had a really close relationship».
The history with the «Raft CrimeA» begins in summer 2016. From 16 to 19 August in Kyiv, Ukraine, among luxury restaurants and yachts, temporarily appeared the migratory Parliament of the Displaced «Raft CrimeA» - a life raft with neon sign. On board the raft lived the Ukrainian artist Maria Kulikovska - a native Crimean, who was received the status of the «displaced person» on 18 March 2014.
On August 19, Maria Kulikovska and people that wish to join her performance started to go in the Dnipro River on the «Raft CrimeA» that August 25 - on the Independence Day of Ukraine - to cross the invisible water borders of the EU, to get metaphorically across them, and to continue their journey on the rivers of Europe. But, at down on August 25, in Vylkove, Ukraine, the «Raft CrimeA» was stopped by the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine. The performance ended prematurely.
Maria was living on the raft, deprived of any resources, only through support of people that care for her. The survival of the artist was dependent on compassion of other people that became the specific act through which Maria Kulikovska wanted to stress vulnerability of people that lost their homes and to appeal the community to empathize with them. The «Raft CrimeA» became a platform for discussion of urgent problems of immigrants and finding the way to solve them. The performance and social sculpture were made to collectively remember about the sensitivity and desperation of people that lost their own homeland and identity.
Thousands of people, who lost their homes, are moving the seas on their rafts or boats in the search for a new life. But they're the unwaited «there», and they always will be «alien» and «other» «there». A lot of people are moving the seas and oceans, and they're omitted from any maps. A phantom republic of immigrants. Anybody at any time can become its citizen. The «Raft CrimeA» is an embassy, parliament for/of all those who lost a voice, a place, a political representation.