Celebrating Ukrainian Culture: Highlights from the New York Ukrainian Cultural Festival
This year’s inaugural festival, founded by Razom in partnership with Yara Arts, the Shevchenko Scientific Society and the Ukrainian Institute of America, took place from November 7 – 19 in New York City. It was dedicated to the memory of renowned Ukrainian writer Victoria Amelina, who tragically lost her life this past June when Kramatorsk was attacked.
“We decided to hold a cultural festival in New York to preserve her memory and the cause she was passionate about, the New York Literary Festival that she founded. Amplifying Ukrainian voices and cultural diplomacy here in the States are core principles of Razom’s mission, which we wanted to advance with this initiative. In general, over a thousand people connected with the festival, many of whom were not Ukrainian,” shared Razom Board member, Maria Genkin.
Various cultural events took place in Manhattan during the festival that focused on Ukrainian literature, music and cinema.
“We included a diverse range of films, opening with ‘Dovbush’ and hosting a packed evening with a selection of short films, concluding with ‘Pamfir’ receiving a standing ovation,” explained Polina Buchak, film curator at Razom.
Four events were dedicated to Ukrainian poetry. Poets Alex Averbukh, Boris and Lyudmila Khersonsky, and Iya Kiva read their poetry in the original, while translators or actors read in English. In events produced by Yara Arts Group, poetry from the Executed Renaissance generation of writers, Victoria Amelina, and Serhiy Zhadan, was featured.
In addition, the New York Public Library hosted a meeting with Ukrainian writers. Andrii Kurkov, Oksana Lutsyshyna, and Olena Styazhkina presented their novels published in America this year to over a hundred readers who attended.
During the festival, the public discovered the music of Sergei Bortkiewicz. Musicians Anna Shelest, Pavlo Hintov, and Oleksandr Chaplynsky performed works by this little-known composer born in Kharkiv at the end of the 19th century.
Throughout the festival, organizers raised funds for Amelina’s beloved “New York Literary Festival”. Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped organize this extraordinary celebration of Ukrainian culture and to all who attended!
Stay tuned for more exciting events! To support Razom: https: razomforukraine.org/donate