Ukraine: One year of solidarity
24 February 2023
It has been a year since the horrific war in Ukraine began and it is still not over. The great attention to Ukraine must continue in the future.
EFA and its members feel really concerned about the war and have expressed their support to Ukrainian festivals and artists since the very beginning. One year of solidarity: Together, we have achieved the following actions:
- We have published a statement condemning Russia's hostilities in Ukraine, including a letter, written by the EFA board to show solidarity with Ukrainian people on 4 March 2022.
- A special page dedicated to Ukraine “Festivals for peace” was created in March and updated on a regular basis. It is a collection of initiatives, actions, compilations, and solidarity statements from EFA members, festivals, partners... in the region, in the Balkans, in the Baltic, on the continent and beyond.
- In April, EFA has launched a survey about “Festivals programming in time of conflict”. The questions raised the issues of the effects of the war in Ukraine, how festivals support their Ukrainian colleagues, hopes for a special solidarity fund and the cultural boycott on Russian artists. The report on the survey on the war in Ukraine was published in June: 142 festivals from 38 countries responded to this survey, showing the solidarity wave towards Ukrainians and other victims.
- “Joining hands and hearts, Festivals for Ukraine: A call for festival duos” is an initiative of EFA, CULTURESCAPES, and Sicheslav Festival Association "ArtEthnoFest" that goes on and remains relevant still today. It is a peer-to-peer call to EFA members to engage in a one-on-one partnership with a colleague festival in Ukraine.
- The four first Ukrainian festivals that have formed duos with EFA members became official members during EFA’s General Assembly on 12 September 2022 in the framework of the Arts Festivals Summit in Yerevan. The duos formed are:
1) Vilnius Festival with ODESSA CLASSICS music festival
2) CULTURESCAPES with Construction Festival
3) Usedom Music Festival and Klarafestival form a trio with KharkivMusicFest
4) International Festival Wratislawia Cantans with Lviv Early music festival
Other EFA members expressed their interest to work in duo with Ukrainian festivals in the near future.
- During the Denis de Rougemont Forum session at the Arts Festivals Summit 2022 on 12 September 2022, Ukraine was in the spotlight: Jurriaan Cooiman (CULTURESCAPES) and Mariia Yarchuk (Construction Festival) have presented the initiative “Joining Hands & Hearts” and their duo in order to encourage other festivals to form duos with Ukrainian colleagues, Anastasiia Yevsieieva (Ukrainian Institute) made a presentation on partnerships with festivals, and Kateryna Lozenko (KharkivMusicFest) presented the project "Inside the war" and invited delegates to become partners.
- Ukrainian-Dutch composer Maxim Shalygin wrote Drop after drop for Festival for Compassion, an initiative of Wonderfeel supported by EFA and the members. Maxim Shalygin joined the Summit to present this project and read his poems "Whispers from nowhere" published in our e-magazine Eye-to-Eye.
- The European Festivals Fund for Emerging Artists - EFFEA will support the work of the artist Kateryna Lukianenko and two festivals GogolFest and Barabanza Music Festival from Ukraine through three grants.
The next steps are to give more visibility and recognition to these actions and the duos formed so far in our communication channels to promote effective collaborations between festivals makers.
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