Brief notes from conferences by Piotra Murzionak (October-November 2017)(magazine“CULTURE, NATION”, December 2017, issue 20, p.75-79)

 

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Brief notes from conferences by Piotra Murzionak (October-November 2017)

(magazine“CULTURE, NATION”, December 2017, issue 20, p.75-79)

On October 11, 2017, the University of Ottawa hosted a lecture by Nicholas Rabchuk known Ukrainian intellectual and journalist, the President of the Ukrainian PEN Center. The main conclusion of the lecture was that Ukrainian mentality \ consciousness gradually strengthened in all regions of Ukraine.

On October 27-28, 2017, the Institute of Oscar Halecki (Polish scientific institutions in Canada) held the 2nd Symposium on “Contribution of Canadians of Polish origin to the development of Canada”. In the plenary lecture A. Jablonski characterized five waves of Poles emigration in Canada (1870-1914, 1918-1939, 1939-1956, 1956-1981, 1981-2000). It is interesting that 38 million of Poles live in homeland and 14.5 million – abroad, of them in the United States – 10.6, Brazil – 1.8, Canada – 1.1. Lecturer recalled famous people such as Danuta Mostwin (1921-2000), Wsevolod Jakimiuk (1902-1991). Wsevolod Yakimyuk had Belarusian roots, he was the author of dozens of projects of different aircrafts as he was working at the De Havilland Canada. A. Jablonski cited some statistics that less than 2% of Canadian Poles participate in the affairs of public organizations and the proportion of Poles who speak their native language at home in Canada is reduced.

On November 16-18, 2017, Danyliw annual seminar on the problems of modern Ukraine was held at the University of Ottawa. Saturday was completely given over to the theme “Art and Politics”. The day began with a lecture of M. Sonevitski on the development of Ukrainian pop-singer Ruslana. In 2004, Ruslana won “Eurovision Song Contest”. The author drew a parallel between the musical creativity of Ruslana and her civil position. Her work has evolved from the musical nationalism, auto-lexicon to sovereignty policy. It was very interesting presentation of new book by Mayhill Fowler “Beau Monde on Empire’s Edge: State and Stage in Soviet Ukraine” (University of Toronto Press, 2017). The author uses an original approach – compares the life and work of pairs of writers or actors who in the interwar time left Ukraine and went to Moscow, and those who remained in Kiev, for example, Ostap Vyshnia – Ilf-Petrov, Kurbas – Mihoels. It was considered the work of the people in “the center” and “periphery”, the languages used, ​​the “permitted” and the real national culture, how dare in such different conditions the national identity was. Much of what she writes has been characteristic for the development of creativity of the Belarusian culture in the Soviet times.

The lecture by Anne Kutkina (the University of Helsinki) considered the destruction of the communist time monument in Ukraine (“Leninapad”). Process of monument destroing had several periods – ranging from vandalism to the official removal of monuments on the decision of the Ukrainian government. In Ukraine, there were about 5,500 monuments to Lenin, who were as a sign of the presence of Soviet power, especially in western Ukraine. The questions of monument destruction are not so simple.

People’s thoughts on this matter are separated from “you are destroying our past” to “Glory to Ukraine” as a protest against the past. Negative point is the fact that the destroyed monuments have architectural and artistic values, and also the fact is that after the monuments cleaned, the pedestals remain as a reminder that there is something to think about. Now in Ukraine destroyed almost all Lenin monuments and to other communist activists. As an example of a different approach, Lithuania is leading, where such monuments were moved to specially designed parks.



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