Culture is the best common language, the pillar of humanism and truth, particularly in times of conflicts, fear and insecurity. Culture counteracts the separation of people. The bilateral Cultural Year #AustriaUkraine2019 sets the goal to bring together the creative potential of both countries and thereby facilitate stronger cultural and scientific cooperation between Austria and Ukraine.
The answer is simple: to contribute together to build a united and peaceful Europe. In Ukraine and Austria, the political, cultural, historical and contemporary context should be read anew, updated and developed further.
The thematic year covers the three focal areas of “History in Central Europe”, “Literature and Contemporary Art” as well as “Creativity and Innovation”, which span from the past through the present and to the future.
History of Central and Eastern Europe
Partnership dialogue is not possible without understanding of history. This is why the bilateral Cultural Year is focused on the variety of historical links and topics that united – and continue to unite – Central and Eastern Europe. These topics include the cultural diversity of the Danube region, ways to deal with remembrance, interpretation of the cultural and historical heritage etc. This part is to highlight the importance of common handling of the past.
The example of such an initiative is the Austrian-Ukrainian Historical Commission, founded in 2017.
“There isn’t any history in nowhere. Everything has a beginning and an end. All history has a place.”
Literature, Music and Contemporary Art
Contemporary art from both countries reveals creative and innovative potential. The rich programme therefore presents young artists, whose work helps to discover new things and dust off traditional ideas. Literature doesn’t linger in shadows either: it is translations that make cultural exchange in both directions functional.
The Ukrainian authors writing in German are in the limelight, namely the Bachmann Prize winner Tanja Maljartschuk. They are backed with more classical works of Joseph Roth: 2019 marks the 80th anniversary of his passing.
“Language does not only build bridges into the world, but also into loneliness.”
Creativity and innovation
Creativity enables innovations and paves the way for partnership exchange. Scientific initiatives come up with new solutions for common, sometimes global, problems. Sharing of ways to handle challenges creates the opportunity to learn from each other, for example in the areas of journalism or ecology. The existing programme “Creative Austrians” should be particularly useful here.
In this section we’ll present projects focused on global challenges such as environmental protection, rapid development of digital technologies, social inclusion. We’ll be also looking for new ways to strengthen the dialogue among civilizations.
“The reality in international relations includes not only the state of affairs at a certain moment of time, but the direction of change as time proceeds.”