On 14 October 2022, rich Ukrainian national culture and art were presented during a series of events that took place as part of the Copenhagen festival “The Night of Culture”.
On the walls of the building of the Danish War Museum, a presentation “Discover Ukraine: Bits Destroyed but Undefeated” took place accompanied by the music of the Ukrainian duet “Ptakh_Jung”. Throughout the evening, a ten-minute audio-visual show demonstrated the thousand-year history of Ukraine through the prism of 58 monumental mosaics created by Ukrainian artists in 1950-1980.
The project was created on the basis of unique photos of mosaic panels taken by documentary photographer Yevhen Nikiforov and animated by the “RocknLight” studio in cooperation with the Ukrainian Institute. Nikiforov’s photo project “Decommunized: Ukrainian Soviet Mosaic” includes works by Alla Horska, Hryhoriy Pryshedko, Halyna Zubchenko, Ada Rybachuk, Volodymyr Melnychenko and many other Ukrainian artists.
This installation once again drew the attention of the Danish public to Russia’s destruction of Ukraine′s cultural heritage, as almost a third of the presented works of Ukrainian Soviet architecture were destroyed or damaged after the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. The fate of some mosaics is still unknown, as they are located in temporarily occupied territories.
At the same time, an atmospheric event “A Celebration of Ukrainian Art and Culture” took place in the courtyard and in the premises of the Ministry of Culture of Denmark. The old building of the Ministry turned into a centre of Ukrainian creativity which united musicians, artists and filmmakers temporary displaced to Denmark.
During the evening, Ukrainian artist Andrii Muzychenko demonstrated the Petrykivka painting style. The Ukrainian songs “Oi u luzi chervona kalyna”, “Plyne Kacha” and “Tam, pid Lvivskym zamkom” were performed by choir leader Olha Kovtun and opera singer Vasyl Sashchuk. There was a screening of Ukrainian director Anna Yatsenko′s short drama “Operator Victoria” which this year entered the competition of the Odense International Film Festival.
In addition, a concert for violin and piano was held where pianist Yuliia Zhukova and violinist Natalia Pylypenko performed works by famous Ukrainian composers. The guests also had the opportunity to walk through the offices of the Danish state institution, learning about its history, and enjoy a traditional Ukrainian poppy seed with coffee.
On the same evening, the building of the Europa-Huset in Copenhagen became the venue for a creative meeting of several organizations that demonstrated the modern and classical art of Ukraine to the Danish public.
The program of the evening included a children′s illustration workshop conducted by a professional illustrator and designer Leo Antolini, an introduction to the Ukrainian folk tale “Kotygoroshko”, master classes on hairbands and motanka dolls, a photo exhibition of female portraits created by Stine Heilmann, choral singing from the “Ukrainian Golden Soul” ensemble, live music from “Mod Solen”, a musical program of Ukrainian song treasures performed by young talents of “Nielsen Saloner”, modern Ukrainian dance, micro-rave, stand-up, as well as a premiere screening in Denmark of the Ukrainian modern post-apocalyptic opera “Chornobyldorf”.
In addition, during the evening, the debate “Ukrainian dialogues” took place which covered many topics, from the origins of Ukrainian democracy and love of freedom of Ukrainians to the modern values of Ukraine. And the guests of the European House could taste apple pie according to the Ukrainian recipe and delicious borscht (borsjtj).
The organizers of the evening, the European Commission Representation in Denmark and European Parliament Liaison Office as well as the “Hjælp Ukraine” Association, tried to present Ukraine as a future member of the European family through its colourful cultural diversity.
Another cultural event with the participation of the Ukrainian community in Copenhagen and its surroundings was an informal gathering of Ukrainians in the courtyard of the association “Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke”, where the organization “Ukraines Venner” organized a free public feast for Ukrainian displaced persons living in Copenhagen centres for refugees. Friendly communication during the evening was accompanied by choral singing.