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Building Bridges Back

Building Bridges

22 Feb 2023

In a series of interviews with the grantees of the Culture of Solidarity Fund Eunic Ukraine edition we look back on how their projects helped embedding Ukrainian culture in wider European spheres.

Who was leading this project? Please introduce yourselves.

The Project Building bridges: cultural exchange for all was leading by the Vytautas Magnus University Ukrainian centre team: Head Algirdas Kumža, Center coordinator Olesya Kholodova, Chief administrator Greta Šadeikytė and coordinator Svitlana Šaltis.

Can you tell us about the design of the project and its stages in some detail? Who were your partners, and who did you involve?

The project’s design was prepared considering traditional Ukrainian holidays so that Ukrainians who fled the war feel at home here and could further develop their traditions and present them to the Lithuanian community. In addition, the project aims to introduce Ukrainian national aspects to wider audiences in Lithuania and raise visibility and awareness about various Ukrainian art and cultural elements (music, poetry, theatre etc.). The activities will involve local Lithuanian and Ukrainian audiences; thus, the people-to-people contact creates the basis for the project.

The stages consisted of raising ideas, refining them, presenting them, organizational work and implementation.

Our main partners are the Presidency of Lithuania and the Embassy of Ukraine in Lithuania.

Where and when was this on show?

The project was implemented in 2022, November-December, and some activities continue on these days. All activities were live and were at Vytautas Magnus University Ukrainian centre (T. Ševčenkos st. 31, Vilnius)

Whom did you intend to reach, and did it work out?

This project creates an opportunity for Lithuanian and Ukrainian people to interact and learn about each other through experiencing Ukrainian culture.

All these activities further strengthened its centrality in spreading Ukrainian cultural values in the country and internationally. Furthermore, the project relied on active communication to involve the local Lithuanian audience. Since Lithuanians’ support for Ukrainian refugee well-being is already in place, we firmly believe there was a broad interest among different groups to participate in the project activities.

We believe we have achieved this.

What narratives do you wish to highlight? Why?

The project was to help create an open cultural and educational space for the Ukrainian community to get information about cultural and educational opportunities in Vilnius and Lithuania and plan and organize events, activities and pursuits for children and all members of the community. It left a significant meaning for the Ukrainian and Lithuanian communities.

What does ‘a culture of solidarity’ mean to you? In general, and in specific, to Ukraine?

We percieve a Culture of Solidarity as actions aimed at fostering a creative space to produce emotionally that bring a shared vision for a better future to life.

We aim to actively and civilly demonstrate to the people of Ukraine that we, the people of Lithuania, are together with them at crucial moments in the history of the Ukrainian state. 

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