All you wanted to know about Ukraine in one book and on one YouTube channel

 

Culture

Editor’s Note

Travelbook. Ukraine – illustrated edition in the educational entertainment format. 1,200 extraordinary discoveries, the most interesting and important facts about Ukraine with the author’s illustrations. The book includes 30 maps of 25 Ukrainian regions and 4 main Ukrainian historical cities (Kyiv, Lviv, Kharkiv, and Odesa). Each map depicts dozens of small illustrations and short descriptions that together provide information on:

  • 327 inspiring personalities;
  • 232 wonders of nature;
  • 224 historical events;
  • 135 cultural phenomena;
  • 129 architectural masterpieces;
  • 78 outstanding inventions and discoveries;
  • 75 economic objects.

Issued in 2017 and translated into English, German, and French, the book has become exceptionally successful. Subsequently, a supplement with YouTube videos was created in 2018-2019. 4 seasons of 50 videos in total have already been published and new series are being produced. Each video tells the story of one of the 1,200 extraordinary discoveries included in the book.

Although designed for kids, the book and videos are also interesting for adults who want to know more about Ukraine and discover unknown details, stories and places

A screenshot from the web-presentation of the book.

The book

Do you know who deciphered the Mayan script? Who designed the flight path to the moon? Who flipped ballet fashion and invented the modern ballet tutu? Travelbook Ukraine offers 1,200 outstanding facts about Ukraine and Ukrainians. We have found not only the most amazing, but also the most important things to know about Ukraine: unique places to visit, cultural achievements, outstanding personalities and key events that have influenced the course of history and life of every Ukrainian. This book was created from discoveries and we hope that with it you will be able to look at Ukraine in a new way, – says the annotation to the book.

Combined efforts of dozens of professionals were required to collect all facts and present them in a creative form. The book was produced by Green Penguin Media with financial support from the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation and USAID. The main artists who contributed the illustrations are Marta Koshylinska, Olena Kobilinska, Oksana Shcherbakova, and Iryna Zhyk, while the main authors of the descriptions are Iryna Taranenko, Yulia Kurova, Mariya Vorobiova, and Marta Leshak.

The Ukrainian Cultural Foundation is a state-owned institution created in 2017 which aims to facilitate development of culture and arts in Ukraine, wide access for the citizens to national cultural heritage, and support integration of the Ukrainian culture into the world cultural sphere. The Ukrainian Cultural Foundation supports projects through a competitive selection process. Activities of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation are guided and coordinated by the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine.

The design of the book. Source: Facebook page of the project.

 

A small illustration from the book. Ukrainian kozak flying on the devil. The important part of the Ukrainian kozak myth and a story from Mykola Hohol’s book. Source: presentation of the travel book

The Travelbook Ukraine was issued in Ukrainian (Книга-Мандрівка Україна), English (Travelbook Ukraine), German (Streifzüge Ukraine) and is planned in French (Livre de voyage. L’Ukraine).

The videos

During the presentation of the last season of the video series based on the stories from the book. Ukrainian journalist Yanina Sokolova appears from the book in the role of famous Ukrainian writer Lesya Ukrainka. Kyiv, 2019. Source: Pohliad

“We realized that there was not enough high-quality content in Ukraine, and it became clear that we wanted to defend our history and our culture. This book has appeared in English and German, and we are now planning in French. But we realized that there is a lot of demand and the book is good, but we want to say more, and so we decided to do a video,” – said one of the executive producers of the series, Iryna Taranenko, during the presentation.

The project is especially important for kids, who now grow up with YouTube videos and social networks that have no limits imposed by parents as was the case in the past. From a very young age, kids in Ukraine are swamped by low-quality Russian-language animation or stories on YouTube. Platform with algorithms shows what is most popular, not what is the most useful. And this does have an influence, says analyst for Detector media Inna Dolzhenkova:

“Finding Ukrainian-language videos for kids on YouTube is a very, very difficult task. After all, most of the children’s content on this bottomless resource, which is supposed to represent multilingual videos, is overwhelmingly in Russian. This explains the phenomenon of brilliant knowledge of Russian by children who do not learn this language at school. Knowledge of any language other than their native language has never obstructed anyone. But the problem is that usually gadget-addicted young users, when searching for something cool on YouTube themselves, do not think about the benefits or dangers of these gags.”

The first season with five videos tells the story of Ukrainian historian Yuriy Konorozov, who solved the mystery of the Mayan Indians’ writing; Ukrainian designer Varvara Karinsky, who created a modern ballet tutu; the Ukrainian biologist Ilya Mechnikov, the Nobel laureate for his work on human immunity… The last season is dedicated to Kyivan Rus kings and princes. All the other 40 videos cover various topics from the ghost town Prypiat to prominent 19th-century Ukrainian businessmen and philanthropists.

All videos in Ukrainian with English subtitles are available on this YouTube channel.
  • Father of immunity. Video about Illia Mechnykov with English subtitles:
  • Video about Ukrainian 19th century entrepreneurial and philanthropist family Tereshchenko:
  • Video about thousands of years old Ukrainian pagan and now Christmas spirit didukh:
  • An example of video in German (only one so far, more are planned):

Read more:

 

Edited by: Michael Garrood

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