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Olga ZhukBook Arsenal

Olga Zhuk

Curator of the Book Design Program

Creative Director of the Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Center, first curator of the International  Arsenal Book Festival (2010–2016).

In 2015, she took professional training at the Frankfurt Book Fair office, which resulted in the launch of the Best Book Design Contest within the Book Arsenal Festival and advocacy for legislative changes in the area of ​​international presentation of Ukraine, modernization of the national stand of Ukraine in Frankfurt. In 2016, she headed the Department of Cultural Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and continued curating the International Program of the Book Arsenal. In 2017, she participated in the US State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) on Promoting Social Change through the Arts.

In 2018, as an independent curator at the invitation of EUNIC and the British Council in Ukraine, she has prepared an international program for innovative book marketing Booking the Future in collaboration with the Literary Laboratory of the Mystetskyi Arsenal. At the 10th International Arsenal Book Festival, Olga Zhuk curates the Interfaces of Optimism program dedicated to book design.

‘This year, for the first time, we have a separate program on book design aimed to create the context for a national contest. We will have a wider look at it—as a complex, meaningful interaction of text and image, other than banal ‘decoration’, not only as a graphic but also a subject design that works with form and materials. We will build a temporary book design studio, rethink the various book covers, and hold dozens of consultations for publishers and authors. And within the focus theme of the Book Arsenal Festival—optimists skeptics—we’ll discuss whether design should be ‘optimistic’; how it affects the reading experience; what should designers do not to lose any last traces of their optimism in the work process; precariousness, copyright in book design, ethics of relationships between publisher and designer, and international professional standards in this field.’