Culture can also be driving force for strategic and forward-looking reforms – Organizers of the Third Eastern Partnership Culture Congress


Kyiv, August 26, 2015. Over 600 participants from more than 20 countries will participate in the Third Eastern Partnership Culture Congress, which will take place in Lviv from September 4-6. “It is not only a cultural project. It is also a political project, as it aims to establish the importance of culture at the geopolitical and national level. Culture can also be the driving force of reforms, possibly even of those that are strategic and forward-looking,” said Yevhenia Nesterovych, Press Secretary of the Third Eastern Partnership Culture Congress at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

An open contest is being organized in the framework of the Congress. Based on its results, 30 social and cultural projects from 24 towns will be showcased at the event. These initiatives include painting, the presentation of residency opportunities, museums, and others. According to the organizers, activists united in solidarity will be able to create a powerful cultural lobby in Ukraine.

The structure of the Congress will include five panel discussions, several master classes and other meeting formats. Social and cultural initiatives will also be presented. Three more discussions focusing on regional cultural strategies will also take place. Parallel artistic programs will be organized, including the media play, “Il Caprese,” which was implemented earlier in the framework of a project on cultural diplomacy amongst the Ukrainian regions at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

The Congress will place in Ukraine for the first time. The first two events took place in Lublin, at the behest of the Polish delegation. According to Mariya Artemyuk, representative of the Polish Trans Culture Foundation, “the history of cooperation with Eastern Europe was already very rich, that’s why we thought that we need to organize an event that will create space for intellectual conversation and cooperation between Eastern and Western Europe.” A decision was made to task one of the Eastern Partnership countries with organizing the Congress this year.

According to Olesia Ostrovska-Lyuta, Co-Curator and Moderator of the panel on Cultural Policy and Cultural Economics, until recently the attitude towards culture was that it was something entertaining or decorative. However, today, “[the] scale of the crisis makes us look at all the resources and opportunities that we have.” Ostrovska-Lyuta noted that today, when the society is facing a huge number of challenges, culture can and should be doing much more; it can become an instrument and a factor that will help address and resolve all social problems.

Additionally, the Congress will focus on a chance to unite both culture and innovative technologies. According to Illia Kenigshtein, Co-Curator and Moderator of the panel of Cultural Policy and Cultural Economics along with Ostrovska-Lyuta, “in order to survive and win, one needs to start thinking in a totally different way, using innovative thinking and drawing on culture.”

A TV project jointly produced by UA: Pershyi, Ukraine’s public television, and the Third Culture Congress will be an important part of the event. “Its main aim is to ‘translate’ the congress events into the language for the TV audience,” said Oksana Forostyna, co-author of the project. It will be broadcast on September 1 at 8 pm Kyiv time on UA: Pershyi. All Congress events are to be broadcast as well as they happen.