Kyiv, March 15, 2016. Ukrainian writers and musicians are going to the front-line areas of Luhansk regions with the festival “The way to the east” on March 25-27. This time, their concerts will be held in Novopskovsk (March 25), Svatovo (March 26) and Starobilsk (March 27), they will also visit Ukrainian military personnel stationed in the area. “The festival includes all kinds of arts, there will be music, literature, and a volunteer component,” said Sergiy Zhadan, poet and social activist, at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. The festival is organized in partnership with Arts Association “Last Barricade”, Artistic Agency “Territory A”, Publishing-House “Smoloskyp” and USAID. Raiffeisen Bank Aval has provided financial support. The group has more than 30 participants, among them – musicians and writers from Kharkiv and Kyiv, as well as local activists, volunteers and musicians.
“Over the last two years, we have been regularly traveling to the Ukrainian east with performances, with volunteer help, and as a rule, when you arrive there, you see many good, talented, open people who do something themselves and also want to be involved in such actions. And we think it is right – not just go there and say something, but also listen to people who live there, who are also involved in creative work,” said Sergiy Zhadan. Music band “Kozak System”, artist Angelica Rudnytska, poet Borys Sevastyanov, groups “Dogs in Space”, “Orchestra CH”, “Papa Carlo”, Urbanistan, “Isobar Thor,” “Two buses” and others will perform in “The way to the east” evening concert program. As to poets, there will be Sergiy Zhadan and Dmytro Lazutkin, as well as Artem Polezhaka. Also, the artists will take books with them.
The artists take their trip as another step towards our compatriots from the east, an attempt to establish communication and overcome mistrust. “The name of the festival is a certain metaphor, but the real route from Kharkiv to Starobilsk describes very well our common way to the east and theway from the east to us. This road is actually worn down both by military vehicles and by passivity of leaders. One way or the other, we have to repair this worn-down road, to beat a path, to establish communication,” explained Sergiy Zhadan. Ivan Lenio, leader of the band “Kozak System”, on his part emphasized that the slogan “Donbas is Ukraine” will remain only a slogan if it is not backed up by real actions. “We want to block a dirty flow of propaganda and to replace it by a clean one, in the nerest future we will put our minds on this,” he said.
“Our country is the country of underloved people. We all are underloved. That is why we all are a little unhappy. We lack for communication and trust – noted Angelika Rudnytska, singer, artist – Our “way to the East” is the path that we have already trodden and will continue to do so. The more effort we will make, the stronger will be these communication paths and confidence.” According to her, the major problem is that people from different regions “do not imagine what Ukraine really is.” Artists stressed that there should be no bias that Donbas has very specific audience, which is not particularly interested in cultural events like this festival. “Among civilians whom we regard as the Ukrainian rear there are many pro-Ukrainian young people, many those who want us to come to them, to talk with them on equal terms, to be heard. They are interested, and this interest is sincere,” said Dmytro Lazutkin, poet, TV host.