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Main Culture — The full programme of the Book Arsenal has been announced, featuring around 160 events over 4 days


The full programme of the Book Arsenal has been announced, featuring around 160 events over 4 days

09 May, 2024
The full programme of the Book Arsenal has been announced, featuring around 160 events over 4 days

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The 12th International Book Arsenal Festival announces its Programme, which includes about 160 select events taking place in the Old Arsenal building. The events of the Book Arsenal Programme will serve as a meeting place for like-minded individuals: authors, readers, publishers, artists—everyone involved with books. We will come together to discuss our experiences: what is happening to us, what is happening to Ukrainian society, what are its concerns, anxieties, and hopes, and how we can continue to be resilient in these conditions.

The Book Arsenal will kick off on Thursday, May 30th. On the first day of the festival, there will be 14 events—discussions, presentations, poetry readings, an art therapy workshop, and a cine-performance. The festival will run from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM on this day (entry to the venue will be available from 4:00 PM).

The official opening of the 12th International Book Arsenal Festival will take place on May 30th at 5:00 PM. Continuing the programme on this day will be a discussion on "The Border Within Us" within the framework of the focus theme "Life on the Edge."

The focus theme "Life on the Edge," curated by Tetiana Ogarkova and Volodymyr Yermolenko, will be presented in the programme by 10 events:

"To understand Ukraine, one must be on the front lines, go to the front, and help the front. To understand Europe, one must understand Ukraine. This is the border that is the center. Even if it's a center that bleeds. Let's listen to this border. There is no end to life there. There, it begins. Today, it seems to us that the border is eight hours by car. But this border runs inside us. In fact, it always runs inside us."

The literary programme "Overcoming the Divide," curated by Olena Huseynova, will present a series of important intellectual events:

"Here, in this land where the war is ongoing, there are so many real divides. Tactical backpacks and grenades, mines and shells tear apart. Hearts and veins. Even if we can't recognize the sound of division, we can recognize the true meanings of words and experiences, we can avoid the randomness of their use. We can go beyond intermittent indifference, beyond fantasies about distance, an insurmountable gap, and division. We can make a simple choice—to listen to voices, to every voice nearby, and to every distant voice."

The programme for/about children and teenagers "With Wide-open Eyes," curated by Olia Rusina, will feature:

"Our lives today are often a combination of extreme emotions and states, balancing between despair and hope, sadness and gratitude, and ultimately, it is for these feelings, both positive and negative, that we hold on now. Children and teenagers are also growing up in this. Their first experiences fell on two years of full-scale war, ten years of war in the East, the Russian occupation of Crimea, many months of pandemic. And there will be no other growing up for them."


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The professional programme of the Book Arsenal, curated by Oksana Karp'yuk, this year also strengthens the international component of the Festival and initiates The Book Arsenal Fellowship Programme, within which foreign publishers and literary agents interested in Ukrainian book publishing visit the Book Arsenal:

"In addition to the evidence of industry development, we have an extremely interesting task—to explore and reflect on processes in the book industry and to seek vectors of development and ways out that we have not yet managed to overcome."

The special program "CITIES ON THE EDGE" will be presented by the "Fifth Kharkiv" in cooperation with the Kharkiv Literary Museum. The programme curator is Yevhenii Stasinevych:

"How can we explain the surge in cultural life in Kharkiv—from the Kharkiv and Kyiv perspectives? Why does culture not fall 'according to the principle of residuality' but becomes, if not the heart, then the center of discussions in the public sphere? Why is there even more talk about history in our lives now—and if it is already so, what is the more accurate view of the city and the country as an embodiment of porubizhnist? So, the city, so, the border. And also, war and culture. And we're in the middle of it. Often without precise words but with the need to speak. And let the City help us."

The special programme "VOICE ENDURANCE" will be presented by the Ukrainian PEN:

"Sometimes we hear more and more fatigue in our voice, but we overcome it to speak to the world—loudly, convincingly, and subjectively. And we never allow ourselves to be silent because we speak not only for ourselves but also for those whom Russia has deprived of a voice, and for those whose voice will continue through us. For centuries, the empire pushed us into voicelessness, but finally, we return ourselves—our names and our voices."

The largest number of events will be contained in the Publishers' Programme, which will be the largest at the 12th Book Arsenal.

The visual component of the XI Book Arsenal will be presented by 10 exhibition projects:

Life on the Edge DEFILADE Putting on a pixel. Stories of those who chose to fight In memory of us SIMPLE THINGS. Marina Talyutto OWN NAMES. VOX POPULI Naïve Ukrainian Gardens. Serhii Polezhaka Obolon Dialogues Pelikan. Personal exhibition by Zhenia Oliinyk (exhibition in the Small Gallery of the Mystetskyi Arsenal)

During the XII Book Arsenal, you can familiarize yourself with four book collections:

Collection of winners of the "Best Book Design - 2023" competition Collection of Ukrainian visual publications Talking Pictures—2024 Showcasing over 100 Award Winning German Photobooks collection Books from France—2024: books for children and teenagers, comics, and graphic novels

Online tickets for the XII Book Arsenal can be purchased at the link provided.

The Odessa Journal

The Odessa Journal

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