The first festival of Ukrainian literature, which took place in Innsbruck (Austria) with the support of "Dynamic Culture" program of Rinat Akhmetov's Foundation "Development of Ukraine" October 17-19, 2013. The festival was held in the framework of the public project “More countries — more books” (http://www.uabooks.org/) aimed to support and popularize modern Ukrainian literature abroad. The Ukrainian side of event participants was represented by such writers as Andrei KURKOV, Maria MATIOS, Lyubko DERESH, and Tanya MALYARCHUK.
Ukrainian Literature Festival in Innsbruck: First Results
The festival was organized by the Knizhnoye Prostranstvo NGO (Kiev, http://book-space.net/) supported by Rinat Akhmetov's Foundation "Development of Ukraine" (http://www.fdu.org.ua/ua/) and the "Haymon Verlag" Austrian publishing house (Haymon Verlag, http://www.haymonverlag.at) supported by the "House of Literature on the Inn river" (Literaturhaus am Inn), and the Institute of Slavic Studies of the University of Innsbruck (Universität Innsbruck/Institut für Slawistik). Information support of the festival has been provided by the Ukrainian Embassy in Austria.
Informational partner of the Festival was the ‘ORF’ Austrian National Broadcasting Company, the journalists of which made daily announcements and news releases to be further broadcasted on local radio stations. Reportage about the Festival was broadcasted on the national television ‘ORF’, and the events overview has been presented in the newscast for three times.
The first event of the Festival was discussion "Ukraine Has Not Perished Yet" where writers talked not only about literature, but about Ukraine and its future. The presenter of the discussion was a well-known Austrian journalist and writer Suzanne Scholl — a living legend of the main channel of Austria ‘ORF’. The discussion was held in a crowded store of "Haimon Verlag" publishing house.
The interest of Austrian public was attracted by the "Long Night of Ukrainian literature" special event organized in the "House of literature on the river Inn" where famous Austrian critics talked about the work of Ukrainian writers and then were read extensive excerpts from the works of presented authors. Discussion "In Focus: literary life in Ukraine" between Maria Matios and Lyubko Deresh aroused great interest of the audience and a large number of questions, as concerned both creative issues and views of different generations of Ukrainian writers to life and political aspects in modern Ukraine.
Writers participating in the Festival had a rich program not only in Innsbruck. Within two weeks (October 11-24) they held a series of meetings with readers in different cities of Germany and Austria, in particular, in Frankfurt, Munich, Berlin, Vienna, and Graz. It should be noted that two meetings of nearly twenty were organized specially for large Ukrainian community residing in Austria and Germany.
Since the events of the Festival attracted interest of both the readers and the media, the director of "Haymon" publishing house announced its intention to conduct the Ukrainian Festival in biennial format (every two years) on a regular basis, expand the geography of public events on the other Austrian cities, and increase the number of modern translations of Ukrainian authors into German. Another novelty in German language to become a novel by Yuriy Vynnychuk "Tango of Death". Among the guests of the Festival was an Italian publisher Robert Keller who became interested in modern Ukrainian literature, and it is hoped that this interest will be implemented in book publishing.
The Festival was held in the framework of the public project "More countries — more books" (http://www.uabooks.org/) aimed to support and promote modern Ukrainian literature abroad, search for new contacts, innovative ideas, establishing personal contacts between book creators — writers, translators, publishers, and artists.