Lecture: Ihor Poshyvailo / Identity War in Ukraine: Resilience Amidst Devastation

Tuesday, March 19, 7 PM at Remai Modern
102 Spadina Crescent E, Saskatoon, SK S7K 0L3

Join the Ukrainian Museum of Canada, in partnership with the Prairie Centre for
the Study of Ukrainian Heritage, the Canadian Institute for Ukrainian Studies, and the Remai Modern Art Gallery of Saskatchewan for this not-to-be-missed lecture by reknowned Ukrainian scholar and activist Ihor Poshyvailo. In this lecture, Poshyvailo explores the stark reality of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, spotlighting the extensive assault on Ukraine’s heritage, particularly its religious sites, and the Ukrainians’ resilience in the face of this destruction.

Ukraine’s national heritage, long subjected to domination and neglect, saw a resurgence after regaining independence in 1991. The transformative Euromaidan Revolution birthed a nation committed to democracy, rejecting its Soviet past and challenging Putin’s imperial ambitions. The 2014 Russian invasion resulted in unparalleled devastation, targeting Ukrainian cultural heritage with over 18,000 religious and cultural sites damaged or destroyed. This assault, orchestrated by the Kremlin regime, goes beyond military conflict; it is a heritage and identity war. The Maidan Museum and HERI exhibition shed light on Russia’s attack on Ukrainian cultural freedom. Despite vulnerability, Ukraine’s culture is not defenseless. Poshyvailo emphasizes the courage of cultural workers, artists, and communities in safeguarding Ukraine’s heritage. As the world unites in solidarity, critical questions arise: How can emergency response, stabilization, and cultural reconstruction be facilitated? What measures, including an international tribunal, cultural restitution, and global promotion, can fortify cultural stability in times of crisis? These pivotal issues demand thoughtful consideration to preserve Ukraine’s cultural identity.

Ihor Poshyvailo (Kyiv, Ukraine) is a Director General of the National Memorial to the Heavenly Hundred Heroes and Revolution of Dignity Museum (Maidan Museum). He is a cultural activist, ethnologist, museologist, cultural manager and art curator. Ihor is ex-chairman of the Museum Council at the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture and the ICOM International Committee on Disaster Resilient Museums. He holds a PhD in History; was a Fulbright Scholar at the Smithsonian Institution; an international fellow at the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the Kennedy Center; and was a participant, lecturer and mentor of the First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis training courses of ICCROM in the Netherlands, US and Italy. When the full- scale Russian invasion started in February 2022, Ihor became initiator, co-founder and coordinator of the Heritage Emergency Response Initiative (HERI) and a member of the National Council for the Recovery of Ukraine from the War.

Admission is by donation.