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Ukrainian Spring 2024 festival in Sweden promotes Ukraine-Europe cultural unity, honors fallen artists killed in Russia’s war

The festival “Ukrainian Spring 2024” kicked off in Stockholm, bringing together a series of 12 cultural events to pay tribute to Ukrainian artists who lost their lives on the front lines battling Russian invaders.
Sweden
The national flag of Sweden. Source: UkrInform
Ukrainian Spring 2024 festival in Sweden promotes Ukraine-Europe cultural unity, honors fallen artists killed in Russia’s war

On 24 April, the European festival “Ukrainian Spring 2024” opened in Stockholm, in Sweden, to bring together 12 cultural events and honor Ukrainian artists who were killed on the front lines fighting against Russian invaders.

“The festival’s concept is to present Ukraine as an integral part of the common European cultural heritage. This connection is emphasized by the ‘Reflection in each other’s eyes – Ukraine in Europe and Europe in Ukraine’ festival’s slogan,” the organizers noted.

The ultimate goal of all cultural events dedicated to Ukraine abroad, the festival’s team says, should be to focus society’s attention on Ukraine’s struggle and victory in the war unleashed by Russia, as well as to remind of the necessity to strengthen assistance for defense against the aggressor. Hence, this year, each of the 12 days of the festival will be dedicated to one of the Ukrainian artists who defended their homeland and died on the battlefield.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t have just one artist who took up arms to defend Ukraine and perished for each day. We had to make choices.

It’s a painful reminder to the world that Russia takes away the best from Ukraine. It’s a painful reminder to the world that Russia takes away some of Ukraine’s brightest talents.

Some had already built remarkable careers before the war, while others were just starting out, their paths cut short by Russian aggression,” noted Natalia Pasichnyk, a performing pianist and founder of the Ukrainian Institute in Sweden.

The festival opened at the Royal Concert Hall, Sweden’s main concert stage, with events honoring opera singer Vasyl Slipak, who had been killed in the war with Russia in 2016, as per UkrInform.

On 2 May, the festival will host a screening of the Swiss-Ukrainian film “Olha” and will commemorate actor Pavlo Li, who died in fighting for Irpin, the city in Kyiv Oblast, in 2022. The festival will also honor Hlib Babych, artist Serhii Pushchenko, and violinist Roman Barvinok. All of them were killed in a struggle against Russia’s occupiers.

The final concert will be the world premiere of a work of music inspired by Taras Shevchenko’s poem “Zore moya vechirniaia” (My Evening Star), composed by Bohdana Froliak, one of Ukraine’s foremost composers. This day will be dedicated to the memory of Kostiantyn Starovytskyi, a conductor in the State Academic Estrada-Symphonic Orchestra and the Kyiv Opera, who fought in the early days of Russia’s full-scale war and died on the Kramatorsk front.

The festival will unfold across ten different venues, including concert stages, museums, cultural embassy residences of European countries in Stockholm, cinemas, and churches.

The event is organized by the Association of Cultural Institutes of European Union Member States, the European Commission, the Ukrainian Institute in Sweden, and Konserthuset Stockholm.

Earlier, the General San Martín cinema in Buenos Aires hosted a special screening of two documentaries about the Russian war against Ukraine. One of them was “Chornobyl 22” by Ukrainian director Oleksii Radynsky, which tells the story of the occupation of the exclusion zone in Kyiv Oblast.

Ukrainian documentaries in Argentina unveil Russian war crimes

It was created with the help of The Reckoning Project: Ukraine Testifies, a non-profit organization that documents and investigates Russian war crimes in Ukraine.

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