EU National Institutes for Culture - EUNIC

The project "Freedom through the eyes of women artists" was initiated by members of EUNIC Slovakia in partnership of Aparat O.Z. (Bratislava Design Week). Photo credit: Peter Lorcek

Projects selected for second edition of EUNIC Ukraine Fund

10 cultural initiatives across Europe have been selected by the second edition of the Culture of Solidarity Fund EUNIC Ukraine, to help connecting Ukrainian culture in wider European spheres.

The project "Freedom through the eyes of women artists" was initiated by members of EUNIC Slovakia in partnership of Aparat O.Z. (Bratislava Design Week). Photo credit: Peter Lorcek

The ongoing war in Ukraine has resulted in heightened solidarity towards Ukraine. With Ukraine now as a confirmed EU candidate country, a perspective and invitation of getting to know each other between Ukraine and EU countries emerges, with a strong cultural dimension accompanying the wider process of reform and strenghtening of civil society.

In light of last year's successful edition of the Culture of Solidarity - EUNIC Ukraine Fund, EUNIC launched a second special call in May 2023, looking to promote the visibility and embeddedness of Ukrainian culture across Europe. The call was published in partnership with, and co-funded by, the European Cultural Foundation (ECF) with other core financing led by the Government of Flanders and with additional contributions from the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Czech Centres.

The call was open to 54 EUNIC clusters and their local partners, based in any of the 46 Council of Europe Member States. After a succesful application round, 10 cultural organisations from 10 Council of Europe member states will host festivals, offer residencies, organize exhibitions, programme public assemblies, provide trainings and public lectures between January and June 2024. They will receive grants up to 15,000 euro to do so, with a total budget of 120,000 euros for all projects. All together these events will help embedding Ukrainian culture in wider European spheres.

Selected projects

Bulgaria: Lace of centuries
This project presents the art of vytynanka (or papercutting), which first appeared as a form of home decoration in rural villages in Ukraine in the 19th century. The Daria Alyoshkina exhibition ‘Lace of centuries’ is a series of 12 enormous three-meter-long vytynankas, which is dedicated to different historical milestones that take the viewer through the history of the territory of Ukraine. It was showcased at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2023 as a part of the ‘Ukrainian DNA’ Pavilion. The exhibition and workshops will feature within the Sofia Paper Art Biennial, as a part of the Sofia Paper Art Fest 2024, which will be held under the motto ‘Without Borders’. The project is a collaboration between the AMATERAS Foundation and the Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of Bulgaria.

Czechia: Sharing Ukrainian Stories in Prague
The Institut français de Prague will offer a platform to various forms of storytelling about the situation in Ukraine, and the lives of those who had to flee their country. They focus on the launch and promotion of the documentary graphic novel: ‘I’ll call you when I’m home’, a collective effort of Ukrainian artists and students from the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, with Alice Nikitinová (artist and professor at the Academy) as editor-in-chief. The making of this graphic novel is the starting point for a series of workshops. ‘I’ll call you when I’m home’ will be presented at the international book fair Book World Prague and the Biennale Matter of Art in June 2024, including a performance and chytanka by invited Ukrainian artist Kateryna Aliinyk.

Germany: Ukrainian New Wave. Before the Sunrise
The short film collection 'Ukrainian New Wave. Before the Sunrise' includes 9 recent Ukrainian short films shot after 24 February 2022. The Ukrainian Institute will facilitate the post-production of these films for screenings abroad. With this project the Ukrainian Institute wants to increase the knowledge about the current situation in Ukraine through its cinematic examination, create a platform for exchange between filmmakers and film institutions from Ukraine and audiences and institutions abroad, and discuss the knowledge about the current working conditions of filmmakers and film institutions in times of war

Lithuania: Community leader training programme ‘Accelerator’
The Centre of Ukraine in Lithuania at Vytautas Magnus University will bring together Ukrainian and Lithuanian community leaders together in a civic society accelarator. The centre’s experience shows there is a need to foster understanding how civic society mechanisms work, which tools can be used to initiate changes, and showcase the importance of cross-sectoral cooperation. Therefore, this initiative will bring together Ukrainian and Lithuanian community leaders to develop competencies as project management and civic participation. The project will create a space for Ukrainian and Lithuanian community leaders to meet potential partners and create cross-sectoral cooperation networks and activities both centrally and regionally. The best practices of the centre of Ukraine, along with those of other Lithuanian institutions, serve as examples for these activities.

The Netherlands: Zatyshok/Gezelligheid
Dzherelo, a Ukrainian heritage school and cultural center in Amstelveen, launches the 'Zatyshok/Gezelligheid' project to help raise the visibility of Ukrainian culture. They involve different European communities living in the Netherlands to workshops, exhibits and talks around the beauty of a strikingly modern-looking wintertime straw decoration “pavuk” (spider). Lida Zangarten will facilitate these workshops, while in December Olena Braichenko travels from Ukraine to deliver a lecture about “the forward-looking nature of traditional culture revival in today’s Ukraine: Decolonization and liberal democratic values,” based on her recent book “Ukraine: Food and History”, published together with the Ukrainian Institute.

Poland: The Long Twentieth Century of Odesa Art
The International Cultural Centre in Krakow, together with the Odesa Fine Art Museum will prepare an exhibition and catalogue on Odesa art. Concluding the project is a book publication with the working title ‘A Story Beyond Myth. The Long Twentieth Century of Odesa Art’, showcasing the development of modernism and the art of resistance in Odesa throughout the twentieth century. The show, and the book, will end with the latest works, which will present contemporary artists’ reflections on the Russian aggression against Ukraine. In addition to the catalogue part, the book will contain experts’ texts to help understanding Odesa as a dynamic city with a past and an Ukrainian future, raising knowledge about Ukrainian culture and popularising the work of Odesa’s artists in Poland.

Romania: International Literature Festival Odesa
In 2023, Istituto Italiano di Cultura Bucarest will develop a program of multilingual literary readings and cultural and social debates and talks in Bucharest and Timisoara, in collaboration with EUNIC Romania. Ever since its’ foundation in 2015 the International Literature Festival Odesa (ILO) aims to promote an international dialogue between East and West. Being a major platform for the Ukrainian literary world, the Russian war against Ukraine has forced ILO to use other locations on the Black Sea, like Batumi in Georgia in 2022.The festival will present both renowned and new authors from many EU countries, along with Ukraine as well as Switzerland and Turkey.

Serbia: Spaces of Resilience
Building on a previous project Serbia<3Ukraine, the aim of this project is to again offer residential stays in KROKODIL’s House for Writers in Belgrade to Ukrainian literary creators. Considering that the dominant public perception in Serbia regarding the war is strongly pro-Russian with an appalling lack of empathy for the plight of ordinary Ukrainian citizens, KROKODIL is determined to change this narrative and strongly work on public opinion change. As their experience so far has shown, these preconceptions can indeed be changed when confronted with real people and their personal stories instead of grand media and socio-political narratives. Therefore, to this end, they would organise a series of public activities with the residents and a special debate programme on the next edition of the festival KROKODIL, June 2024, which will be wholly dedicated to Ukraine.

Ukraine: Antonin Artaud Fellowship
With the fellowship Proto proukciia provides financial and organisational support and capacity development programs for young artists and cultural managers from the performing art field in Ukraine. The fellowship is designed as a response to the limited possibilities for performing artists in Ukraine to continue their artistic practice, and to produce and develop professionally. The Foundation of Proto produkciia concentrates on independent non-state funded individuals, groups, and institutions, as they have no stable sources of funding. With the fellowship they provide financial and organisational support for experimentation and reflection processes, learning, and capacity development programs for young artists and cultural managers from the performing art field in Ukraine, establishing long-term relationships and connections.

United Kingdom: Ukraine Global: Environmental Protection and Justice
The Ukrainian Institute London’s Ukraine Global project will explore Ukrainian perspectives on global challenges of pursuing justice in the context of war, environmental destruction, and the legacy of imperialism. By engaging with these issues through the prism of Ukraine, they aim to promote a deeper understanding of how these challenges affect communities globally, and how Ukraine’s experience fits into a wider European and global context. Together with the Flanders Delegation, Finnish Institute and the Cyprus High Commission, the Ukrainian Institute London will explore the environmental strand of Ukraine Global, through a high-profile public event with experts from Ukraine and from around the globe, and a special issue of the online of London Ukrainian Review featuring texts by opinion leaders with expertise in the questions of environmental protection and justice.

Co-funded by the European Union Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.