UkraineVision 2024, held at the Kulturhuset Stadsteatern in Stockholm from February 2nd to 4th, was an immersive and enlightening journey into the heart of Ukrainian culture and the challenges it faces in the modern world. This event brought together cultural experts and stakeholders from Ukraine and Sweden, fostering discussions, exhibitions, and performances that celebrated Ukraine's rich heritage while addressing the complexities of its present circumstances caused by Russian aggression.
The program was thoughtfully structured, offering a diverse range of activities over the three days. Panel discussions tackled pressing topics such as the power of cultural diplomacy in times of conflict, the preservation of cultural heritage, and the cultivation of support networks for Ukrainian artists in Sweden. These discussions provided valuable insights into the role of culture in resilience-building and bridging gaps between nations.
The inclusion of digital exhibitions allowed attendees to visually immerse themselves in Ukrainian art, literature, and music, further enhancing their understanding and appreciation of the country's cultural landscape. Additionally, the book release of "Final Episode" by Yevhen Polozhiy, accompanied by a panel discussion, offered a deeper exploration of Ukrainian literature and its relevance in contemporary society.
Musical performances, including the captivating concert by “Dagadana”, showcased the vibrancy and diversity of Ukrainian music, while panel discussions on Ukrainian cinema and theatre shed light on the challenges faced by artists in expressing themselves amidst conflict and adversity. One of the highlights was the film screening of “Iron Butterflies”, which provided a poignant portrayal of the human experience in the face of war, underscoring the resilience and strength of the Ukrainian people.
Theatre was also in the limelight. Theatre, as a powerful medium of expression, has historically served as a mirror reflecting societal struggles, and in the context of Ukraine, it becomes an even more poignant tool to articulate the human experience. The panel discussion on "Resilience Stage" at UkraineVision 2024, provided an insight into the role of theatre in Ukraine amidst times of conflict and war. The panel, moderated by Fransesca Quartey, an experienced actress and director, discussed contemporary theatre. Panelists included Tamara Trunova, a Ukrainian theatre director known for innovative works; Dritëro Kasapi, Artistic Director of The Swedish National Touring Theatre; Dmitri Plax, artistic director of Dramaten.Doc at the Royal Dramatic Theatre; and Anna Halas, a Ukrainian playwright and theatre translator.
The discussion underscored the importance of supporting Ukrainian artists and theatre professionals in the aftermath of war, highlighting the vital role that nations like Sweden can play in this endeavour. Through cultural exchange programs, collaborations, and partnerships, avenues for mutual learning and growth can be established. By fostering connections between theatres in Sweden and Ukraine, valuable opportunities for knowledge sharing, workshops, and joint productions arise, aiding in the revitalization of the Ukrainian theatre scene.
The resilience of Ukrainian theatre artists was evident throughout the discussion, as they face the challenges of war while continuing to produce meaningful and impactful work. Their dedication to preserving the rich craft of Ukrainian stage art is commendable, and initiatives aimed at supporting them are crucial for ensuring the survival and flourishing of Ukrainian theatre in the face of adversity.
UkraineVision 2024 succeeded in its mission to raise awareness about Ukraine's culture and the challenges it confronts. By fostering dialogue, showcasing artistic talent, and promoting cultural exchange, this event not only celebrated Ukraine's rich heritage but also served as a platform for building bridges and fostering understanding between nations.