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“Culture in Time of War”: premiere of EU-supported Ukraїner documentary


On 29 June, the KINO42 cinema hosted premiere of the first film in a new series of documentaries – “Culture in Time of War. The West”. The film tells the stories of artists from Lviv, Chernivtsi, Lutsk and Uzhhorod and was produced as part of the European Union’s “Together, We Create. Together, We Preserve” communications campaign. The campaign has been running in all regions of Ukraine since March, informing Ukrainians about the European Union’s support for Ukrainian culture and art in times of war.

The creative team of Ukraїner – a well-known educational multimedia project on Ukrainian studies that produces its materials based on socio-cultural expeditions – will make four trips to the North, South, East and West of Ukraine. With the support of the European Union, four short stories will be filmed about the life and work of Ukrainian cultural figures in the context of the full-scale Russian war. Together, they will complete a mosaic of how Ukrainian culture functioned during the war and how the European Union supported the Ukrainian cultural front.

Remi Duflot, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine: “While the major part of our support to Ukraine goes to military, financial and emergency assistance, support to culture is dear to us, all the more so in the context of Russia’s full-scale aggression. Because Russia is not only trying to destroy Ukraine physically, but also to erase its identity and history. And culture is one of the keys to identity. Cultural heritage is what makes history tangible. Safeguarding the past and supporting Ukraine in creating its own future – this is our aim. And this is what we want to show through this campaign and the partnership with Ukraïner.“

Bohdan Logvynenko, founder of Ukraїner and author of the documentary series “Culture in Time of War”:

“Culture is what unites us and creates the continuity of this unity for hundreds of years; that is why it is important to talk about culture during war, to record its influence on us and the impact of a full-scale war on the cultural process.”

During the project presentation, experts, artists and journalists discussed the theme “Documentary Films to Preserve and Rethink Ukraine’s Cultural Heritage”. They talked about the role of documentaries in history and their place in the cultural life.

According to the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, more than 1,520 cultural sites in Ukraine have been damaged, destroyed or looted, and this figure is far from final. The war has forced many Ukrainian artists to seek opportunities to continue their work abroad or to defend their homeland with weapons, risking their lives and health.

Over the past two years, and especially since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion, the EU has mobilised up to €15 million to support Ukraine’s cultural sector. Some of the key cultural support initiatives include House of Europe, EU4Culture, Creative Europe, and a grant to the ALIPH Foundation.The latter alone assisted numerous Ukrainian cultural institutions in saving their collections and purchasing the equipment needed to protect and adequately store unique cultural heritage.

A public screening of the film “Culture in Time of War. The West” will take place on 8 July at the Cultural Mosaic Art Open Air in Kyiv. At this event, everyone will be able to learn about the achievements of Ukrainian culture and EU support to it amid the full-scale Russian war through discussions, workshops and premieres.

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