Reflections on 25th Anniversary of Independence

Twenty-five years ago, Ukraine declared independence from the Soviet Union, adopting an Act which established it as a separate state. Since then, August 24th has been celebrated in Ukraine as Independence Day, marking a significant event in the political life of the country.

In light of the 25-year anniversary, several students from this year's Harvard Ukrainian Summer School class have offered their reflections on what the commemoration means, how Ukraine has changed, and where it's heading.

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"Ukrainian for Reading Knowledge: A Space for Artistic Expression" by Jonathan Gonzalez

Art. Humanity has tried to define art for centuries, but we still have not come up with a concrete definition. For me, art is expression. The class ‘Ukrainian for Reading Knowledge’ served as a space for creative expression and helped me strengthen my definition of the value of the humanities.

STEM has taken over the 21st Century, and in my opinion, to the detriment of the humanities. As an inquisitive person I always ask myself, why do I study the humanities? The answer is simple. Because I am a human, therefore the study of humanity is worth studying.

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"Lenin Goes Down, Art Comes Up: The Evolution of Space and Image" by Grace Mahoney

Notes on the lecture by Jessica Zychowicz

On Wednesday, July 20th, Dr. Jessica Zychowicz, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Toronto, gave a talk at HURI on rethinking post-colonialism in contemporary Ukraine through the lenses of media and gender. Zychowicz demonstrated that images and media (be them iconic, documentary, or representational) produced in Ukraine today may be in dialogue with, in response to, or an evolution from media of the past, and they create a plurality of readings and identities that go beyond the binary terms of post-coloniality.

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