The Book Arsenal festival has announced its theme and datesAbout Us

The Book Arsenal festival has announced its theme and dates

On May 22-26, 2019, the 9th International Book Arsenal Festival – an intellectual event in Ukraine, where book, literary and artistic scenes develop and interact with each other, and joint high-quality, timely and innovative projects are implemented – will be held at the Mystetskyi Arsenal. 

The 9th Festival focuses on a theme of co-existence, a common being based on values ​​and arrangements. As in the wider context – meaning our distant and close neighbors, political and cultural, issues of (good) neighborliness, partnership and cooperation on the international scale. And in the narrower context – meaning co-existence of people within one country or territory, one settlement or even a house; about mutual support and empathy, but also about conflict, confrontation or indifference. The theme under the working title Neighborhood draws attention to “us” and “them” within one country, to different experiences of neighborhood throughout history, as well as to whether we know the literature of our neighbors and how our neighbors have imagined and imagine us now.

“Responsibility, participation and dialogue – these concepts are actively discussed in Ukrainian society as key to the further development of the country. All of them assume the other side, the other voice. Who are these well-known and unknown “others” with whom we interact on the geographical scale of the country, in the immediate border zone and within the framework of modern political alliances? Where does the private territory end and where does the common one start?

What kind of images of neighbors, enemies, fellows, allies and traitors were created by the Ukrainian culture, and who is portrayed by it today? And how from the modern point of view, we re-read these images in the texts by Taras Shevchenko, Panteleimon Kulish or Ivan Nechui-Levytskyi?”, says Vira Baldyniuk, curator of the focus theme program, as well as editor-in-chief of the online magazine Korydor, journalist, critic, who joined the Book Arsenal team in 2018.

During the events of the focus theme program, we will consider who we are in the eyes of each other and who we would like to be in the perception of the outer world. What should one know about oneself in the mirror of European and world cultures? How do the countries cope after 1989, the year of the fall of the Berlin Wall? 

In addition to the focus theme program, the Festival will host exhibition projects, as well as curatorial and special programs presented by invited curators and partners, the Ukrainian program will be held in cooperation with publishers. 

The terms of participation in the Festival Fair will be posted on the Mystetskyi Arsenal website in December 2018. The proposals for ideas of possible events or special projects within the Festival will be taken from December 2018 to February 4, 2019. 

Follow the announcements on the Mystetskyi Arsenal website and social media pages.

Let’s recall that the Book Arsenal Festival was first held in 2011 and over the eight years, it reached the level of one of the most visited and most popular projects of the Mystetskyi Arsenal. Each year, the program of the Festival raises and reflects on the important issues of human existence, as well as of society and culture, encouraging the proactive position of the participants and visitors. 

In 2018, more than 50 thousand people attended the Festival and more than a hundred foreign guests from 32 countries took part in it, including writers, philosophers, publishing experts, intellectuals, illustrators and designers, etc. The festival encourages the translation of the world heritage and topical literature into Ukrainian and the interest of the world in Ukrainian writers. For the second time, the stand of the strategic partner of the Festival, the Frankfurt Book Fair, was presented at the Book Arsenal, and there is an agreement on the extended cooperation in 2019. 

The activities of the festival and the activeness of the Mystetskyi Arsenal Literary Laboratory during the year attract attention to reading as a leisure practice and personal development tool.