Leonid Finberg presented book “Maidan. Evidences. Kyiv, 2013-2014”: Maidan is a civilization choice of people of Ukraine


Kyiv, February 24, 2016. The Maidan revolution is an ‘hour of triumph’ of Ukrainian history. It is a milestone of Ukrainian history which is important in terms of many aspects: courage, solidarity of people, self-organization and withdrawal from stereotypes, said Leonid Finberg, sociologist, researcher in culture, director of the Center for Studies of the East European Jewish Culture and History in Kyiv, chief editor of the Dukh i Litera publishing house while presenting a book “Maidan. Evidences. Kyiv, 2013-2014” at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.  “I believe every evidence contained here is a very important sign of this memory. We collected about 300 evidences,” said the book author. These are over 100 stories of real people who lived through tragic events of Maidan. The authors were working on the book approximately 18 months, selecting the texts which deserved the biggest attention. According to Finberg, Maidan was a civilization choice of the people of Ukraine. The sociologist is convinced that memory was not kept in Ukraine for almost the entire 20th century. He believes it was first of all the fault of the enemies of Ukraine who were destroying evidence in order to force their vision of the events. Nevertheless, in recent years it became possible to write the truth about events in our country. “Maidan did not finish with victory in 2014, it continues in the form of intellectual Maidan, participation in hybrid warfare forced upon Ukraine and the history of the nation,” believes Finberg. It is why they decided to record this unique experience, so that the memory about Maidan did not get distorted with time.

“Ukraine after Maidan became eternal, as nation, as territory, as a fact of global civilization and culture […]. Ukraine as such will be eternal, which means it will reclaim all its territories and in the end become successful, progressive dynamic country entering European civilization and continue developing. It is the fact,” believes Yevhen Bystrytskyi, PhD in philosophy, director of Culture, Ethics and Esthetics Philosophy Department, Institute of Philosophy, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, executive director at the International Renaissance Foundation.  He said it was important for the fund to formalize it and issue such a book. Moreover, Bystrytsky believes that it is worth while analyzing all the evidences contained in the book and draw up some summary, doing a kind of a research based on the synthesis of the evidences. “The book sets moral criteria, it is high toned, which is a prominent success,” said Bystrytskyi.

Oleksiy Sihov, post-graduate student of Skovoroda Institute of Philosophy at the National Academy of Sciences and University of Lyon (France) and a production editor of the Dukh i Litera publishing house said that he undertook research of the evidences, for he was apprehensive about myths, which, among others, are used by politicians for manipulations. “I was interested in the possibility of regaining the trust in fundamental signs of social life through revelation of small stories and people who lived through the experience of the totalitarian regime. I was interested in prerequisites for the discussion about civil society to start. And then Maidan happened, which was an incredible practical experience,” said the post-graduate. These 100 names is not an attempt to finalize Maidan, close this story or exhaust it.  On the contrary, it is opening of a site for communication, said Sihov. It is a certain gesture towards a person you are talking to, showing willingness to hear stories of other people, those whose evidences were not included into the book. “Everyone had different beliefs, but when we were filling sacks with snow at Maidan, this gesture was much more important than our backgrounds,” added Sihov. “There is certain hospitability about the book, which encourages search for other interlocutors and teaches the skills of listening to other people”.

“When so many people open their hearts, pray together, participate in Divine Liturgy served in all-faith chapel at Maidan, all of this consecrated the sacrifice and assured us that the sacrifice was not in vain,” said Roman Koliada, deacon of Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate, pianist, radio & TV host, poet, quoting the book. It cannot be overestimated, it is a unique phenomenon in Ukrainian history, believes the deacon. Understanding that the church supported them was important for people. According to him, it is necessary to speak of these events all the time, collecting the evidence of Maidan participants. “I believe, the book is priceless from this viewpoint,” said the deacon.

Olena Herasymiuk, master of philosophy, poet, essayist, author of the book “Deafness”, laureate of “Smoloskyp” prize, one of the first residents of “Stanislav Phenomenon”, said that after Maidan was over and all the events were reanalyzed, she felt grossly insulted. “Did it have to go so far as watch young people dying ‘live’ for an average Ukrainian to understand that his language, culture, history, flag and anthem do matter and are entitled to exist in independent country without being mocked,” said Herasymiuk. On the other hand, if Maidan is treated as an enormous cultural space, then Ukrainian artists at last got a huge site to display all their cultural achievements they created, said the poet.

Andriy Andrushkiv, master in theology, communication expert at the Reanimation Package of Reforms said the book “Maidan. Evidences. Kyiv, 2013-2014” is food for mind and heart. “It is a comprehensive emotional atlas of Maidan […]. This book is an incredible history of interlacing of human lives. It happened very often that after Maidan, the following winter, I could recognize people be their hats or jackets, we recollected the events we went through, despite not knowing each other’s names,” said Andrushkiv.