"In Solidarity With Ukraine" is launching a programme for visits by foreign writers, journalists, and cultural figures to Ukraine
The "In Solidarity With Ukraine" programme, with its first phase running from September to the end of November 2023, is initiated by the Ukrainian PEN in collaboration with the Ukrainian Institute. Its goal is to showcase the consequences of Russian military crimes against Ukraine and its culture. The program aims to provide participants in the delegations with a sense of context and understanding of the current situation in Ukraine in the midst of the war.
By the end of the year, Ukrainian PEN and the Ukrainian Institute will host four delegations from Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, and France. As part of the initiative, 20 foreign writers, journalists, publicists, cultural managers, and opinion leaders will engage in a series of meetings with Ukrainian cultural and human rights organizations, war journalists, and artists. They will also visit areas affected by the war in Ukraine, including occupied and front-line cities and villages.
It is expected that following these visits, the participants of the delegations will become ambassadors for Ukraine abroad. They will create materials about Ukraine for international media, initiate support projects, and establish lasting connections with Ukrainian cultural, civil, and human rights organizations.
"We are initiating visits to Ukraine for cultural actors, journalists, and influencers from different parts of the world so that they not only hear about the war and life during it from us when we visit their countries but also witness it with their own eyes, get acquainted with the Ukrainian artistic and civil environment, and become our voices in the world. This is an important process that, I am confident, will strengthen our support worldwide," says Alim Aliyev, Deputy Director General of the Ukrainian Institute.
"In Solidarity With Ukraine" will kick off on September 4 with a visit from the Italian group, which includes:
Roberta Zunini: A journalist and writer whose work appears in Italian media outlets such as L'Espresso, il Reportage, and Il Fatto Quotidiano. She has been covering events in Ukraine for the Italian audience since 2014.
Francesco Chiamulera: The director of the Una Montagna di Libri book festival. After the start of Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine, he committed himself to extensively researching Ukrainian resistance, documenting the course of the war, and preserving the memory of the Holodomor. His goal is to help the Italian public understand the complexity of Ukrainian identity through history, particularly literature.
Nona Mikhelidze: A senior research fellow at the Istituto Affari Internazionali in Rome and a member of the European Leadership Network. She specializes in international relations with a focus on the EU and Eastern Partnership countries.
Paola Peduzzi: A journalist for Il Foglio, with a specialization in foreign policy.
Christian Rocca: The editor-in-chief of the Linkiesta portal, who writes daily about Ukraine. In collaboration with The New York Times, Christian created the "Dedicated to Ukraine" project (Omaggio all’Ucraina).
"Imperial attempts by Russia to destroy Ukrainian culture and identity did not start in 2022 or 2014; this has been ongoing for centuries. It's essential for us to have representatives from various cultural and media backgrounds worldwide understand the reasons behind this genocidal war and become ambassadors for Ukraine in their home countries. That's why the majority of participants in the "Solidarity With Ukraine" program are media professionals and cultural figures who will visit Ukraine for the first time. They will witness the consequences of Russian occupiers' crimes and meet with Ukrainian change-makers to grasp the socio-cultural context in which our country currently exists." — Tetiana Teren, Executive Director of Ukrainian PEN.