Ukrainian programBook Arsenal

Ukrainian program

Curated by Oksana Shchur

Book Arsenal is one of the most important literature and art events in Ukraine. A book today is not merely a physical copy with a certain production cost, but an object for which a certain aura, image and image space are created. That’s when we need to additionally speak about every new book that comes out. This means more than just offering books at a stand and selling them. A book has to be actualized, information resonance has to be built, and the attention of those interested in books professionally or collecting their own libraries has to be won.

That’s what the Ukrainian Program is intended to do as the largest and flexible component of the festival program. It is mostly comprised of selected proposals by the publishers updated to meet the requests of the festival’s curatorial team.

Summarizing the experience of different curators that have worked on the publishing component of the festival for several years, the principle of designing the Ukrainian Program can be placed somewhere between curatorship and mentorship. This is another of the Arsenal’s contributions into the progress of publishing in Ukraine.

For now, the Ukrainian Program offers almost 200 events focused on a wide range of themes.

These are the issues that keep the whole Western world reflecting, including human rights and freedoms, gender equality, democracy, history and culture — Ukrainian publishers reflect on them as well. A debate is not necessarily sparked by a newly published book. An international book award or ways for the writers to defend their rights or freedom can act as a trigger, too. This year will see fewer bright debuts in prose, but it will offer new editions of classics and powerful anthologies of individual authors. The range of Ukrainian content is growing alongside translated books, especially in non-fiction.

Opinion leaders, activists, journalists, pop culture stars and celebrities will try their skills as authors or experts in conversations on the latest books. This leads us to another trend — one where writing books is becoming a trendy thing. As a result, reading is becoming trendier as well.