Intermezzo festival to focus themes of sea and Crimea, cultural identity problems, home lost and rediscovered


Annual literary festival in Vinnytsia is to bring in the spotlight Crimean Tatar culture by projects that unite literature, cinema, visual and media arts. Participants engage Ukrainian and international artists as well as Crimean Tatar community that resettled from the peninsula. 

Kyiv, April 26, 2016. II International Short Story Festival “Intermezzo” devoted to Ukrainian writer Mykhailo Kotsyubynsky will take place in Vinnytsia on May 26-29. Festival’s motto is “Private seas, common shores”. “This year the sea will be the main motive of the festival – personal sea, the sea that divides and unites, the sea as a literary metaphor and the geographical sea that washes the Crimean peninsula,” said Iryna Vikyrchak, Director of the International Short Story Festival “Intermezzo” at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. The festival’s program will include encounters with artists, literary readings by authors, lectures, discussions and transmedia performances, books presentations, evenings of poetry etc. A total of 40 events have been scheduled engaging 50 participants from Ukraine, Poland, the Czech Republic, Belarus, Italy and Armenia.

The festival’s program will focus on the theme of Crimea and Crimean Tatars – on the problem of peninsula’s cultural identity, historic fate of the Crimean peoples, on the theme of home lost and rediscovered. The organizers plan to continue the dialogue between the Ukrainian and the Tatar culture that was started by Crimean novels of Mykhailo Kotsyubynsky. It is also planned to actualize the theme of Crimea and better introduce the guests to the culture of the peninsula’s indigenous people. It is especially topical for Vinnytsia region where many internally displaced are currently residing. “Such cultural ties will enhance closer cooperation between the local communities and internally displaced, so that they are able to become its part and get integrated into it to the maximum. We will overcome all social trouble through such processes,” noted Tamila Tasheva, co-founder of “CrimeaSOS” civic initiative.

The festival’s film program will be opened by “The Tatar Triptych” film by Oleksandr Muratov in Crimean Tatar language with Ukrainian subtitles. “Haytarma” by Akhtem Seitablayev, “Song of Songs” by Eva Neymann, “Crimean Stories” by Nariman Aliev will be also presented. The program will also include the night of short films with both international and Ukrainian pieces screened, presentation of film adaptations of various stories and novels by young film directors. Organisers also plan to have discussion “From A to the film”. “We will be reading the scripts, then watching short films and discussing how films are born out of literature as well as what problems with scripts the Ukrainian film industry has,” said Valeria Sochyvets, curator of the festival’s film program, co-founder of “SUK” NGO (Contemporary Ukrainian Cinema).

The project “The Island of Europe” will be implemented at the festival, it is called to draw attention to the literature of European peoples that are small in number to which the Crimean Tatar literature also belongs. “Literary heritage of Crimean Tatar people comprises poetry, prose, drama and journalism of a fascinating level. Kotsyubynsky is writing about the progressive Crimean Tatar world of the end of the XIX century, similarly progressive must have been other ‘small literatures’ that we are not used to pay attention to,” noted Oleksandr Vesheleni, festival program director.

In the Polish part of the festival’s program works of Józef Konrad Korzeniowski – classic of marine literature with Polish roots and Ukrainian past will be discussed. Grzegorz Jankowicz, program director of the Konrad Festival held in Krakow, will be among the Polish guests. “He is a very interesting personality, he represents both English and Polish literature, he is a symbol of uniting various nationalities, approaches and visions,” said Ewa Figel, Director of the Polish Institute in Kyiv.

During the festival days artists will present the finalized wall painting in the Vinnytsia library made as part of the project “Crimea-Ukraine: the path”. “The idea is to leave bright visual reminders of Crimea created by artists in public space of various cities. They would involve symbols and Crimean ornaments,” said Tetyana Manzyuk, event coordinator of “ArtPole” artistic agency. “This way we want to show the ties that exist between us and that they are stronger than the circumstances that divide us.” Oleksandr Vesheleni added that it is planned to establish the Center for Crimean-Podillya dialogue based on the library.

Annual International Short Story Festival “Intermezzo” is organized by NGO “Institute for Cultural Management”, Vinnytsia city council and the Museum of Mykhailo Kotsyubynsky in Vinnytsia in partnership with a series of other NGOs.