Paper houses, pavement drawings, orchestra, photos, collages and placards, face painting, theatrical performances, and literature workshops: these are just some of the ways people expressed their visions for their city during the “ Kharkiv European” art festival on May 28.
“We wanted to help people feel Europe and let them express how they see their city by means of art,” says Olena Rozskazova, the festival’s organiser, head of the International Renaissance Foundation’s office in the East, and Team Europe expert. “We heard from participants that they want a peaceful and hospitable city without corruption: a city to which you always want to return,” says Rozskazova.
The festival started with lectures by well-known Kharkiv artists, Hamlet Zinkovsky, Ihor Didenko, and Tetyana Tumasyan.
“Kharkiv is a European city, but it’s still shaping itself,” says street artist Hamlet Zinkovsky, whose works were displayed at the 53rd Venice Biennale art exhibition. “Europe has freedom, and you can feel it. Now I feel this freedom becoming more tangible here in Kharkiv.”
Hamlet Zinkovsky, street artist
All the festival activities were free of charge and meant to appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds. “In this festival, we combined family leisure, informal education, and entertainment,” explains Maryna Koneva, curator of the festival and deputy director of the Municipal Gallery.
The “Kharkiv European” festival’s packed day ended with a performance of lyrical poems and an evening concert by local rock bands Papa Karlo, Urbanistan, and Vsya Nadezhda.
Background information: The “Kharkiv European” event was held as part of the Kharkiv Team Europe initiative in cooperation with the International Renaissance Foundation office in the East, the Kharkiv literature museum, children “Art-playground”, the “Gravitatsyia” educational space,” and information partners, the Kharkiv art guide “Repriza”, the “Nakipelo” crisis infocentre, and “ITsector” company.
Team Europe unites experts and professionals from different fields who have expertise in EU-Ukraine relations. Team Europe’s mission is to bring dialogue on EU-Ukraine relations to the regions and assist the EU in understanding the needs of local communities, support Ukrainian reforms, and bring the EU’s financial and technical assistance to every corner of Ukraine. Team Europe is initiated by the EU Delegation to Ukraine and implemented by the NGO “Internews-Ukraine”.