Two diametrically located historic regions will engage in culture exchange and dialogue attracting thousands from across Ukraine.
Kyiv, June 8, 2016. This autumn, Kharkiv will host the socio-cultural forum “PogranCult: GaliciaCult” – a cultural dialogue bringing Ukrainian historic regions Galicia and Slobozhanshchyna together through art and discussion. “Over two weeks, 300 participants from Galicia and abroad will come to Kharkiv to discuss the similarities and differences between the two border regions of Ukraine,” said Olga Sagaidak, project director and co-founder of the foundation, “Mystetski Nadra” (Eng. “Creative Resources”), at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. This is the third event of project “PogranCult”. The previous project “DonCult”, dedicated to Donbas, showed an enormous request for such cultural diplomacy: the forum gathered about 15 thousand visitors in Kyiv and about 10 thousand – in Lviv. The preparation of the program and forum support involved a number of embassies and various cultural institutions and organizations, mostly from Lviv and Kharkiv.
The main purpose of the forum is to help Galicians and the citizens of Kharkiv to overcome stereotypes about one another, as well as gain deeper knowledge of the cultural and social landscape on the “opposite pole.” “Galicia has a lot in common with Slobozhanshchyna – both lands survived the invasions throughout their histories, the time of great empires that completely changed the ethnic and cultural landscape; both share the experience of working abroad,” noted Ms. Sagaidak. “This multicultural unity is an alternative diplomacy, communication which can lead to a lot of things,” said Lucie Řehoříková, Director of the Czech Centre in Kiev.
During the preparatory phase of the forum, in August and September, six artistic residences will be held. About 30 Galicians – filmmakers, urbanists, artists, graphic artists and animators will work with colleagues from Kharkiv. “The result will be a joint product of Kharkiv and Galicia, which we then plan to show at the forum, and in Lviv and other cities of Ukraine,” said Ms. Sagaidak. Participants will be selected during a two-week competition which will start on June 15.
The main part of the forum will be held between October 4 and 18. It will include exhibitions, literary meetings, theater school, performances, film screenings, concerts and a series of discussions. There are a total of 80 events planned. The literary program will display the contemporary literary environment of Galicia and its best writers and poets of the past. “We want to show Galicia, not standard and stereotyped, but as a mosaic of different regions [in the middle of Galicia itself] with their problems and solution experiences,” explained Liubov Yakymchuk, poet, journalist, literary critic, and curator of “PogranCult: GaliciaCult”. The program will include readings from Galician works and presentations of multimedia projects, including the project-performance of Yuri Andrukhovych’s “Antonych Home”. These are poems that he will read and sing with Polish musicians and Ulyana Horbachevska.
A visual program will include exhibitions of Galician artists in various genres – from traditional painting to video-art and installations. “It is important that our visual platform is an essential factor in building a dialogue with Kharkivites rather than a passive semantic frame. Therefore, we will focus on our common experience,” noted Oksana Barshynova, an art expert and head of the research department for art of 20th–21st century at the National Art Museum of Ukraine is curator of the “PogranCult: GaliciaCult” visual program. The visual section will feature not only works of art but also documentary materials, through which you can track the process of creating various myths about Galicia.
As part of the theatrical program two plays, “Granary” (from Lviv) and “Nation” (from Ivano-Frankivsk), will be shown in Kharkiv. “Though Galicians play parts in them, they show the history of Central and Eastern Ukraine,” noted Ms. Sagaidak. “Theater of IDPs” from Lviv will also participate in the program.
Some of the other participants, “Collegium Musicum,” with their modern interpretation of classical and early 20th century music as well as a joint project of the Kharkiv Philharmonic and 9 Czech musicians will be involved in the musical program. This concert will be devoted to Czech dissident Vaclav Haavel. The film, “Kharkiv seen by Galicians” – “Galicia seen by Kharkivites” will also be presented as part of the film program. This joint film will be created by filmmakers from both regions during their residence.
The organizers appealed to the public to provide financial support for the Forum. Part of the funds will be provided by international donors. However, organizaers will still need to collect 200 thousand hryvnias over the next 60 days. To accomplish this, a campaign has already been launched on “Spilnokosht.” “Those who will join the fundraising, will receive small gifts from the leading Ukrainian writers participating in our forum. In particular, you can receive a parcel from Yuri Andrukhovych or Taras Prokhasko. But you should provide a sum of money for this,” noted Liubov Yakymchuk.