Ukrainian Culture — at the Leipziger Buchmesse: the Program of Events and the Stand of the Mystetskyi ArsenalAbout Us

Ukrainian Culture — at the Leipziger Buchmesse: the Program of Events and the Stand of the Mystetskyi Arsenal

Ukrainian culture at this year’s Leipziger Buchmesse is represented by the national stand organized by the Ukrainian Book Institute, the stand of the Mystetskyi Arsenal and the stand of the International Poetry Festival Meridian Czernowitz.

The participation in the Leipziger Buchmesse, which will take place on March 21-24, became possible due to the support of the organizers of the Leipziger Buchmesse and the city of Leipzig.

The Mystetskyi Arsenal presents the stand whose visual concept is inspired by the UKRAINE ON FIRE project—an artistic initiative aimed at documenting and spreading contemporary Ukrainian art, that has been comprehending the war in Ukraine since 2014 till today, during the full-scale Russian invasion. At the stand of the Mystetskyi Arsenal visitors will be able to learn about contemporary Ukrainian art and the art of the 1910s-1930s by looking through the editions about the Mystetskyi Arsenal exhibitions, in particular the catalog of the Ukraine on Fire project, as well as to hear about the history of the institution and the International Book Arsenal Festival.

The visual component of the stand was created by Kostiantyn Martsenkivskiy, a designer of the Mystetskyi Arsenal.

“This year’s participation in the Leipziger Buchmesse is an opportunity for the Mystetskyi Arsenal to keep Ukraine on the agenda of German readers and intellectuals. It is important for us to continue talking about both the history of Ukrainian culture and the experience of the war here and now: to explain, to highlight the Ukrainian point of view, to listen to the arguments and counterarguments of our colleagues from other countries. We want not only to be heard, we strive to be understood, to think together about the huge challenges that the Russian war against Ukraine poses to the whole world. Culture, books and art in particular help conduct this dialog, help solve the most difficult dilemmas of our time,” Olesia Ostrovska-Liuta, the Director General of the Mystetskyi Arsenal, says.

The events of the Ukrainian program, organized by the Goethe Institute Ukraine together with the National Art and Culture Museum Complex Mystetskyi Arsenal and in partnership with the Ukrainian Book Institute and the Ukrainian Institute, will take place on the stage of the national stand of Ukraine and on the stage of Café Europa. The program is funded by the city of Leipzig, the Saxon State Chancellery and the Leipziger Buchmesse.

Representatives of the Mystetskyi Arsenal will participate in eight events.

On March 21 at 2:30 p.m. the opening of the national stand Ukrainian Stories of Resistance and Identity will take place. Astrid Böhmisch (the Director of the Leipziger Buchmesse), Dr. Skadi Jennicke (the Mayor for Culture of the City of Leipzig, a representative of the Burgomaster of the City of Leipzig), Fabian Mühlthaler (the Director of the Goethe Institute Ukraine), Olesia Ostrovska-Liuta (the Director of the National Art and Culture Museum Complex Mystetskyi Arsenal), Oliver Schenk (the Minister of State and the Head of the State Chancellery of Saxony) and Kateryna Rietz-Rakul (the Head of the Representative Office in Germany) will participate in it.

On the same day at 3:30 p.m. Olesia Ostrovska-Liuta, the Director of the National Art and Culture Museum Complex Mystetskyi Arsenal, will take part in the public talk Kyiv and Leipzig. From the Twinning of the Cities to the Partnership of People and Ideas together with Skadi Jennicke (the Mayor for Culture of the city of Leipzig), Lada Nakonechna (an artist, graphic designer, photographer and video artist) and Svitlana Libet (an art critic).

March 22 at 11:00 a.m.—the discussion Experience—Literature—Memory with Alexander Kratochvil, Olena Stiazhkina, Olesia Ostrovska-Liuta and Lia Dostlieva.

On the same day at 1:00 p.m.—the public talk The Best Book Design in Ukraine Now. Transformational Forces That Help Cope and Withstand. Volodymyr Havrysh, a book designer, an active military serviceman, Valeriia Guievska, a designer, the art director, the International Book Arsenal Festival, will take part in it. Olga Zhuk, the Deputy Director General of the Mystetskyi Arsenal for Contemporary Art and Museum Work, will moderate it.

On the same day at 5:00 p.m.—Design from the Frontline, the public talk with Volodymyr Havrysh (a soldier of the Armed Forces of Ukraine; an artist, designer and author of art books, who won the grand prix and several nominations in the Best Book Design 2023 Contest) and a German journalist Kristina Thomas.

March 23 at 10:15 a.m.—the public talk A Book for Children. Instructions for Use. A discussion with Yuliia Kozlovets (the International Book Arsenal Festival), Kateryna Mikhalitsyna (a writer, translator, editor, volunteer), Marietta Sander (the Head of the Goethe Institut Ukraine library) and Olena Zakharchenko (an author of books for children and adults).

On the same day at 11:00 a.m.—the panel discussion Creating in Turbulent Times: Anthologies and Catalogs, a conversation with curators and creators of anthologies, archives, collections and magazines. Participants: Lars Harmsen (the magazine Slanted, Germany), Olga Zhuk (Ukraine on Fire, the Mystetskyi Arsenal), Uliana Bychenkova (Listok), Lada Nakonechna (an artist, researcher, curator). Svitlana Libet (a writer, editor and journalist) will moderate it.

On the same day at 12:00 p.m.—the panel discussion Art for Protest, Strength and Endurance. Participants: Nelia Vakhovska (a scholar of German studies, literary translator, co-director of ViceVersa), Yevgenia Belorusets (an artist, writer, photographer, co-founder of the literary and art magazine Prostory, member of the interdisciplinary curatorial team Hudrada), Olesia Ostrovska-Liuta (an art manager and curator of contemporary art, the Director General of the Mystetskyi Arsenal), Maria Isserlis (a curator, art historian, co-curator of the exhibition The Kaleidoscope of History: Ukrainian Art of 1912-2023 in the Albertinum in Dresden, the Head of the International Relations Department of the Dresden State Art Collections).

You can learn more about the full Ukrainian program to be held at the Leipziger Buchmesse here.

At the invitation of the Stiftung Buchkunst Foundation and with the support of the Goethe Institute Ukraine, within the Best Book Design Contest of the International Book Arsenal Festival a professional trip of Ukrainian designers will take place on the days of the Leipziger Buchmesse. Among the participants of the trip there will be the designers who won the grand prix of the Best Book Design 2023 Contest, Volodymyr Havrysh and Maria Havrysh, as well as representatives of the Mystetskyi Arsenal team.

The program of the trip includes visits to design studios and bureaus, the German National Library, where the archive of the Best Book Design from All over the World competition is stored, the fair of independent publishers It’s a Book 2024 and participation in public events during the Leipziger Buchmesse.

Let us remind you that last year the Mystetskyi Arsenal also participated in the Leipziger Buchmesse. You can see here how it was.

The stand was provided to the Mystetskyi Arsenal free of charge due to the support of the fair organizers and partners.