Role of art in recovery efforts explored at creative industries conference

Cultural icons and artists share passions and best practices in uniting Ukrainians in wartime

September 29, 2022
Photo credit: Iryna Yavorska / “Shum Rave” NGO

Ivano-Frankivsk, 29 September 2022 – Art has the power to educate, inspire, motivate and transform, influencing perception, opinion and values across societies and around the world. For this reason, dozens of activists and representatives of creative industries met recently in Ukraine to explore the unifying role of art and culture during wartime. Some of the shared initiatives include a concert in the subway station in Dnipro and musical parties for cleaning up ruble from buildings destroyed by shelling in the villages of Chernihiv Oblast.

The “Shum Rave” NGO – an organization displaced from the east, organized the two-day event “Brave Culture Meet Up” in Ivano-Frankivsk to explore ways cultural initiatives and creative projects can unite communities, strengthen volunteerism, help document war events, and accelerate the recovery of devastated by the war communities. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) supported the event, together with the European Union.  

Frederik Coene, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to Ukraine, said that despite the war, the number of new cultural projects in Ukraine is constantly growing, helping to unite communities. “We, together with our partners from UNDP, are glad to support this conference and the creative activists,” he said. “The many brave initiatives implemented despite the full-scale Russian aggression are proof that no weapon in the world can stop Ukrainian culture.”

Manal Fouani, interim UNDP Resident Representative in Ukraine, highlighted the importance of supporting cultural and creative social projects in Ukraine during the war. “While this war is destroying infrastructure, cities and villages, Ukrainians are demonstrating a unique resilience and willingness to express themselves creatively to overcome the fear and uncertainties,” Fouani said. “Art and culture often transcend the barriers of violence and hostilities to strengthen the social fabric, communicating unity and defiance. In the history of the world, great movements have been launched and sustained through art and culture, often changing humanity for the better.”

The conference coordinator, Yevhen Skrypnyk, thanked UNDP and the EU for their support in organizing the event. “The preservation of authentic Ukrainian culture has never been as important as it is now, during the war,” Skrypnyk said. “We are very glad that the bold and creative projects implemented by Ukrainians find a response both in Ukraine and in the world. Despite the war, developing at a rapid pace, culture in Ukraine unites communities and accelerates recovery – and this motivates us to work even harder.”

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