06 August 2021, 19:08

Speech by Vladyslav Berkovskii at the All-Ukrainian Forum Ukraine 30. Image of Ukraine

I am pleased to welcome everyone who is with us online and who is with us physically – offline. Probably, it is culture that has suffered the most from the inability to work offline, from the transition and unpreparedness for remote, online mode.

When we talk about culture as a trend of Ukraine, about the image of Ukraine, about the outward representation of Ukraine through culture, through its historical and cultural heritage, we must, first of all, ask ourselves a few questions. One of these questions is, what do those from outside want to see from us? And here, I would give the following short answer: we don’t always have to focus on what they want to see from us. Probably, it’s better to focus on what we can show them. That is, to move from the level of just a service provider to the level of the one who forms the demand.

Therefore, if we talk about the image component, globally, we aim to create a sustainable demand for Ukrainian cultural product, make it competitive, make it widespread, recognisable, and, ultimately, in demand. Today, the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation is, to some extent, the main state investor that invests in the development of Ukrainian culture, in the recognition of Ukrainian culture, in the development of creative industries and forms a vision of Ukraine, Ukrainian image, Ukrainian culture abroad. We also form the cultural landscape on Ukraine’s territory. Formation of the grant system, grant programs, and lots in the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation – and I note that today, it is 14 programs and more than 50 lots and the total financial baggage of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation is more than half a billion hryvnias, which are invested in the development of culture and creative industries, – is aimed at supporting Ukrainian culture and forming the image of specifically our state and our society.

But let us take another step and talk about the values that will allow us to properly represent our country outwardly, for the global world or, for example, a united Europe. We work through European programmes which have already been mentioned by the Deputy Minister. This is both Creative Europe and the representation of Ukraine through UNESCO. Cultural community is one of the elements of the cultural component. If you look at the statistics – the number of applications and the number of projects supported that took place with the assistance of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation, – you will see how the number of these applications and projects is growing rapidly every year. We predict that next year, we will have about 5,000 applications for support, for funding various projects related to the creative industries and culture. And in this context, there is a certain amount of projects related to our tangible and intangible cultural heritage. When we talk about tangible cultural heritage, it is obvious that in order to present it to the world in general, to convey information about what we can be proud of, what we’ve got, what we have and how touristically attractive it is, what we have scientifically attractive, where it is possible to do scientific research, the places one can visit and see what is a certain Ukraine’s recognition brand. And, in fact, there are two basic elements in this today. The first is digitalisation which we can use to present our sights. On the other hand, it is revitalisation, i.e. their introduction into the living space in which we can touch and use our historical and cultural heritage, including as well tangible objects of cultural heritage.

Usually, when we talk about tangible cultural heritage objects that would be interesting to an outward user, we are talking about architectural heritage, but when it comes to intangible cultural heritage, we mention our traditions. But we actually have a very powerful segment of those objects that will be interesting for those outside. First of all, we are talking about the archival heritage, about the documents that connect our history, our culture and the cultural history of Ukraine with the history and culture of neighbouring countries and the whole Europe. We are talking about those objects that allow connecting not only at the general level but also at the family one. An example of this is genealogical studies, the materials that Ukraine can be proud of. This year alone, the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation has actually allocated more than 90 million hryvnias for digitalisation and revitalisation of tangible cultural values.

Those funds were used for projects related to both digitisation and online presentation of archival documents, library and, of course, museum heritage. This includes the creation of online tours, online museums, and online collections. Now we can touch the Ukrainian cultural heritage from anywhere in the world, thus creating the demand for Ukrainian cultural product in the world. With the help of state investments in culture and creative industries, we also form the recognisability of the Ukraine’s cultural product so that everywhere in the world, people understand that it is a Ukrainian brand, Ukrainian culture and this is the best.

Link to the video of the speech:


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