The Ukrainian Institute London published its Annual Director’s Report, offering a summary of its activities from September 2016 to July 2017. “The last twelve months have been an intense and exciting period in the life of the Ukrainian Institute London. It upheld its status as an important platform for promoting knowledge about Ukraine and Ukrainians, their history and culture, current affairs and religious life by organising lectures, talks, public discussions and screenings on a range of topics,” said Marina Pesenti, The Institute’s Director, in an opening word.
Over the course of 2016-2017, 20 events were organised by the Ukrainian Institute at different venues across London, and attended by 1000 people. Six of them were held in partnership with other organisations: University College London (UCL) School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies, London School of Economics, Henry Jackson Society, Europe House, the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain and Bertha DocHouse at the Curzon Cinema in Bloomsbury.
The Ukrainian Institute is affiliated with the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, Ukraine. This year, the Institute held events dedicated to the 125th anniversary of the birth of Patriarch Josyf Slipyj, the inspirational leader of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and a GULAG survivor, who was the founder of both UCU and the Ukrainian Institute.
The Institute has provided a platform to 6 speakers from UCU in 2016-2017: UCU President Bishop Borys Gudziak, Senior Vice Rector Taras Dobko, Vice-Rector Oleh Turiy, Head of Sociology Department Oksana Mikheyeva, Victoria Horbunova and Vitaly Klymchuk.
The Institute also helped to communicate important messages about Ukraine’s history by launching a new series: “The Century of Ukrainian Revolutions: 1917-2017.”The series is ongoing and represents a mix of lectures, panel discussions, film screenings and author talks. It is a pilot project, developing themed cultural content in partnership with leading cultural institutions in Ukraine – including the Olexander Dovzhenko National Centre – and placing it with leading educational and cultural institutions across London. The series conveys important messages relevant to perceptions of Ukraine in British intellectual debate.
36 two-hour Ukrainian language classes were held throughout 2016-2017, with three and four groups of different levels of language proficiency: Advanced Beginners, Advanced Intermediate, Intermediate and Proficient Users. The teachers were: Volodymyr Oleyko, Maria Semenyuk, Lilia Nakonechna andOlha Volosova. The lovers of the Ukrainian literature have taken part in 10 sessions of the Book Club, organised by its long-standing moderator Volodymyr Oleyko.
The Institute has expanded its team to include Larysa Iarovenko, Project Manager, and Anna Morgan, Marketing and Social Media Manager. Its Board of Trustees has grown to include three more members – Ursula Woolley, Olha Zarichynska and Taras Dobko. The board is chaired by Robert Brinkley, a British diplomat for 34 years.
The Institute was registered as a charity in December 2016 (registration number 1170753) and have ambitious plans to be a key voice for Ukraine’s cultural andpublic diplomacy in the UK. It is funded by grants and donations. We will be pleased to hear from anyone who wishes to donate.