Via Carpatia: an artistic and intellectual forum about Ukrainian in the global world

On October 13-15, a three-day international artistic and intellectual forum Via Carpatia took place in Ivano-Frankivsk: “The future of tradition: Ukrainian in the global world.”

Over three days, dozens of different artistic and intellectual events took place within the framework of Via Carpatia 2023. The event from the series of open lectures at Vasyl Stefanyk Prykarpatsky National University has started. They were read by Yosif Zisels, Vitaly Portnikov, Mykola Knyazhytskyi and Volodymyr Vyatrovych.

The holding of the festival was supported by the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation, the Ukrainian Book Institute and the International Renaissance Foundation. The event was organized by the NGO “Verkhovyna – Flower of the Carpathians” and the All-Ukrainian Democratic Forum.

Five panel discussions were held as part of the event: “At the crossroads. The fate of tradition in a globalized world”, “Getting out of the shadows. Positioning of Ukraine in the world”, “Emigration and solidarity. Between the preservation of the ancient and the promotion of the modern”, “Strengthened by the experience of ancestors. The role of tradition for the sustainability of the Armed Forces and volunteering”, “Finding yourself. War as a trigger of national self-discovery”.

Among the speakers were Myroslava Barchuk, Anzhelika Rudnytska, Rostyslav Derzypilskyi, Olga Salo, Elmira Ablyalimova, Tetyana Pylypets, Bohdan Tikholoz, Genad Poberezhny, Yuriy Gudymenko, Antin Borkovskyi, Vasyl Pavlov, Volodymyr Skorostetskyi, Maria Makivnychuk, Rostyslav Luzhetskyi, Roman Vashchuk, Myroslava Keryk , Khrystyna Beregovska, Nadia Makivnychuk and others. All discussions were broadcast live by the “Espresso” TV channel (now they are available for viewing on the “Espresso” YouTube channel).

Mykola Knyazhytskyi presented his own documentary film “Church without Christ. The activities of the Russian Orthodox Church should be banned.” Mykyta Poturaev, head of the committee on humanitarian and information policy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Taras Antoshevskyi and father Ivan Rybaruk from Kryvorivna took part in the discussion of the film.

One of the central events of Via Carpatia2023 was the Literary and Artistic Meeting “Word in War” – a book fair for which about two dozen military writers came to Ivano-Frankivsk. Some are straight from the front. Among the participants are military authors and volunteers Oleksandr Lysak, Olena Lototska, Kateryna Flekman, Serhii Dzyuba, Artemiy Kirsanov, Valeriya Borshchevska, Volodymyr Skorostetskyi, Andrii Lototskyi, Viktor Yankevych, Olena “Lastivka” Mokrenchuk, Rustam Dmytruk, Olga Donechchanka, Oksana Vesna, Ilya Aunt and others.

The curator of the artistic component of the Forum is Rostyslav Derzypilskyi, laureate of the Shevchenko Prize, outstanding theater director and film actor. Intellectual discussions were complemented by the Ivano-Frankivsk National Academic Drama Theater named after Ivan Franko – showing the performance “Nation”. Film screenings were held: the premiere of Mykhailo Krupievsky’s film “Chubay. To speak again” and the presentation of Myroslava Barchuk’s film “What a Difference” from the documentary series “The Last War”. Singer Yuriy Yosifovych performed at the closing of the Forum, and the military band of the legendary 10th Mountain Assault Brigade “Edelweiss” performed at the “Word in War” literary location. Vela Forum Honored Artist of Ukraine Anzhelika Rudnytska. Director of the Forum – Yaryna Yasynevich.

In addition, three exhibitions were presented at Via Carpatia2023: the painting of Lyudmila and Mykola Rybenchuk “Ukraine 2022-2023”, the exhibition of “IALA” within the framework of the project “Zincir/Chain – links of memory” and the exhibition of the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance “Factor freedom”.

The sixth Via Carpatia international artistic and intellectual forum ended with the awarding of the annual award named after Stanislav Vincenz, an outstanding friend of Ukraine, Polish philosopher and chronicler of the Hutsul region, “For humanitarian service and contribution to the development of regions”. This time, the prestigious award went to Yosif Zisels – public figure, dissident, executive co-president of the Vaad of Ukraine, executive vice-president of the Congress of National Communities of Ukraine, initiator and head of the “Recovery during the war” program.

Laureates of the Stanislav Vincenz Prize are intellectuals and public figures who have made a significant contribution to cultural or social development. In past years, it was received by Yuliya Paevska (Tyra), Myroslav Marynovych, Ivan Malkovich, Leonid Finberg and Petro Ryhlo. They, friends and partners form the “Vincenz Circle” – an intellectual club of people united by high humanistic ideals.

  • I am not a very emotional person, but now I am overflowing with feelings – above all, feelings of gratitude to the Via Carpatia chapter for such a high assessment of my modest contribution to the life of Ukraine, – Yosif said, accepting the award in Ivano-Frankivsk from the hands of the Via Carpatia Forum initiator Mykola Knyazhytskyi Zisels. – I lived most of my life in Chernivtsi, in the Carpathian region. As a child, I bought books for myself – my father gave me money. I remember how one book caught my attention among many others. It was called “On high prey”. I learned later that it was a book by Stanislav Vincenz, written in 1938. It was translated into Ukrainian in 1957. I did not remember the author at the time, but this book about the Hutsuls and the Carpathians, which I “became sick of”, had a great impact on me. Many years have passed – and I stand before you as a laureate of the Stanislav Vincenz Award.

To congratulate the participants and guests of the Via Carpatia Forum in Ivano-Frankivsk came acting Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, Rostyslav Karandeev, who noted: “The Via Carpatia festival is designed to unite Ukrainians. Over the years, this festival movement has spread to much wider regions and even to countries that have the Carpathian Mountains on their land.”

It is very important for us to preserve this tradition – Via Carpatia took place both during covid and in the first year of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. Last year we held the Forum in Lviv – says the initiator of the Via Carpatia Forum, People’s Deputy of Ukraine Mykola Knyazhytskyi. – But we dream of returning to Verkhovyna and Kryvyi Rih – and we are already closer. Just as the Armed Forces of Ukraine are gradually liberating our territory. I believe that next summer we will hold the Via Carpatia in Verkhovyna and Kryvorivna, where we will communicate among the mountains, admiring the beauty of Cheremosh and listening to Hutsul melodies. This year, we had a good dialogue about the future of Ukraine in Ivano-Frankivsk.


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