25 events held over the last 12 months: Ukrainian Institute London publishes its Annual Report

Ukrainian Institute London published its Annual Report, offering an overview of its activities between August 2017 and July 2018. Between September 2017 and July 2018, 25 events were held, attended by a total of 1,370 people. The Institute has reached out to new audiences by holding events in partnership with the leading cultural and educational institutions in the British capital and beyond, as well as with other Ukrainian community organisations, such as the Institute of Contemporary Art, the House of Lords, University College London (UCL), Manchester University, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, London Eparchy of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church and Bertha Doc House.

The Ukrainian Institute London has been pursuing its mission to introduce the UK public to leading intellectuals, authors and thinkers working on Ukrainian issues. In the past year, the Institute provided a platform for remarkable speakers including historian and international syndicated columnist Anne Applebaum (also a patron of the Institute), Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU) President and our patron Bishop Borys Gudziak, the award-winning writer, lawyer and professor Philippe Sands, and one of Ukraine’s best-known and beloved writers, the internationally known Andriy Kurkov.

In addition to history, literature and culture, the Institute strove to present a balanced and multi-faceted picture of the vast changes taking place in Ukraine’s political and business landscapes. The Institute provided a platform for dynamic and interesting presentations by government officials such as Acting Minister of Health Ulyana Suprun, one of Ukraine’s leading diplomats Dmytro Kuleba, political commentators like Serhiy Leshchenko and Adrian Karatnycky, and business leaders such as  President of the American Chamber of Commerce Ukraine Andy Hunder.

The Institute highlighted Ukraine’s rich cultural heritage as well, serving as an interface between British and Ukrainian cultural institutions. In October 2017, three remarkable films by Ukraine’s most famous early 20th century film director Olexander Dovzhenko were shown at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London as part of “Dovzhenko’s Trilogy: Life and Death at the Times of the Revolution.” Remastered copies of the films were made available by the National Dovzhenko Centre, Ukraine’s largest cinema archive. The Dovzhenko Centre’s  Programme Director Stanislav Menzelevsky and Cambridge University School of Ukrainian Studies Director Rory Finnin explained the films’ historic and cultural significance.  We thank Larysa Iarovenko, who volunteered as Project Manager in 2017-2018 and helped to bring to London screens the restored works by Olexander Dovzhenko.

The Institute succeeded in presenting a positive, open and truthful narrative on two particularly thorny topics – the centenary of the 1917 Ukrainian Revolution and the history and current state of the Ukrainian-Jewish relations. The Institute broke new ground in coming up with a series of events to explore each of these issues.

The  Institute London remains one of only two places in London providing an opportunity to learn the Ukrainian language. Teaching was provided at three levels of language competence: for Advanced Beginners, Advanced Intermediate and Proficient Users. The classes were attended by 20 students in Autumn Term, 15 students in Spring Term and 8 students in Summer Term.

The Institute maintained a loyal following for its Book Club: monthly sessions profiling important works of  classical and contemporary Ukrainian literature. Moderated by Volodymyr Oleyko, ten sessions of the book club were held, attended by 10 to 15 people.

The Institute would like to thank the Ukrainian Religious Society of St Sophia for providing its premises at 79 Holland Park in west London as a venue for holding regular events and classes.