Ukrainian Jewish Encounter initiates competition of architectural projects for Babyn Yar park – Adrian Karatnycky


As part of commemoration of the Babyn Yar tragedy international Ukrainian Jewish Encounter is to hold a competition for architectural projects, youth conference, an academic event and a concert in Kyiv.

Kyiv, April 25, 2016. On September 29- 30 the 75th anniversary of the Babyn Yar tragedy is to be commemorated in Kyiv. Ukrainian Jewish Encounter (UJE), Ukrainian and the Jewish community plans to hold a series of related events a week earlier. They include a competition for arranging the memorial at the Babyn Yar park, academic discussions, youth conference and a big concert in the Opera House, said Adrian Karatnycky, Board Member at the Ukrainian Jewish Encounter civic initiative.

Karatnycky noted that the competition is of advisory nature. As a result three best works will be awarded in September and presented to the government for consideration. The jury will consist of well-known architects from Ukraine, Germany, Sweden, the UK, France and the U.S. Professor James Young who is considered to be an international expert in architectural memorialization of the Holocaust will be one of them. “The territory [of the Babyn Yar park] reflects various narratives that are not in one direction. The general idea is to start arranging it. The park is now an entertainment site. Our aim is to give an impulse so that it becomes a place where people are able to have a rest but at the same time that it has the context for certain type of behavior,” said Karatnycky. The architectural competition is already in process and on June 9 finalists will be anounced.

Youth conference is planned for 21-35 year old participants. According to Peter Zalmayev, Board Member at the American Jewish Committee (New York) his organization is working to engage Jewish youth into the events. “We are also cooperating with the International Jewish Committee that is currently forming a group of 20 representatives of the Jewish diplomatic corps – brightest young Jewish leaders from across the globe,” he noted. International Jewish Committee is also forming a group of 200 school students of Jewish origin from various places in Ukraine that will take part in the events. “These formal and informal meetings among the youngsters give them a chance to discuss not only the past that surely Ukrainians and Jews need to know but also the ways to build the future. Only through such communication of young people we will see the development of future civic leaders, politicians and businessmen,” said Natalia Feduschak, Director of Communications at the UJE. She added that in the framework of the youth conference a series of discussion in small groups will be held.

The academic event will include presentations of Bernard-Henri Lévy, Timothy Snyder, Karel Berkhoff, Stanford professor Norman Naimark etc. Presentation of the book edited by Ukrainian historian Vladyslav Hrynevych and curator of Ukrainian Studies in the University of Toronto Paul Robert Magocsi is scheduled.

Concert of the Hamburg symphonic orchestra in the Kyiv Opera House will take place on September 29.