Culture and Art

What associations come to mind when talking about Ukrainian art? Perhaps pieces of gorgeous embroidery or painted Easter eggs? Or maybe pottery or other handicrafts made by skillful Ukrainian artists? But have you ever heard of Ukrainian modernism? We are sure you are familiar with some of its outstanding artworks, albeit without knowing they were Ukrainian. The point is that Ukraine's cultural history – still an undiscovered sphere – has frequently been submerged within a homogenized ‘Soviet’ experience. The international avant-garde movement is hard to imagine without innovative artists from Ukraine. The time has come to bring to light the important role that Ukrainian artists played in the birth and development of the international avant-garde movement in the period 1910-30.


Looking back…
In Ukraine, it might seem useless to recall the words of the half-forgotten “leader of the proletariat” Lenin who said almost a century ago that “among all arts, for us (the Bolesheviks) – cinema is the most important.” This outstanding PR man of his time understood perfectly well that cinematography is a powerful tool to influence public opinion and establish a new form of ideology. Nevertheless, despite the various ideological pressures resulting from the Communist’s view of cinematography, Ukraine gave birth to a range of talented filmmakers in the Soviet period who have become acknowledged 'fathers' of world cinematography. So, what is the history of this most popular of the arts in Ukraine and how are things at present?


 When Ukraine sees economic prosperity the profession of ethnographer will be among the most popular and well paid. You may of course argue with this statement. But jokes aside, the traditional culture is becoming a rarity in the modern globalized world. Ukraine is one of the few European countries where ethnic culture is not just a historical fact but a reality. Therefore much of appreciation deserve the enthusiasts who are not only aspire to preserve the vast ethnic heritage of this land but also update it, make it ‘digestible’ to the younger generations, and ultimately popularize it throughout the world.


April - May

International Ethnographic Festival “Velykden in Kosmach” (Easter in Kosmach)

This celebration takes place in spring, in the Carpathian village of Kosmach (Ivano-Frankvisk region). Here you can fully breathe the clean mountain air, quench your thirst with healthful water from springs and life-giving sources of the wisdom of Hutsul culture. Authentic musical groups from Ukraine and abroad take part in the festival. The Ukrainian “pysanka” (Easter egg) will not cease to amaze you with its beauty.


The second place of Andriy Danylko, or, more precisely, of his character Verka Serdiuchka, at the Eurovision-2007 song contest surprised both the admirers as well as the critics of the artist. In fact, «those, who are second, have an undeniable right to be the first», – Jonathan Swift once said. Meanwhile, such a was quite unexpected, because even loyal critics marked that success of Serdiuchka is a phenomenon exclusively related to the post-Soviet space. Yet, at the end of the day, the satire and humor of Danylko proved to be international.


Ukrainians used to have quite a lot of enchanting feasts, several for each season that could be traced to nation’s earliest times. Some of them have preserved till to-date.