Challenges and Hopes
Edited By Viktor Stepanenko and Yaroslav Pylynskyi
Art and Revolution: Kyiv Maidan of 2013–2014
Civilization and cultural processes, especially in their crisis stages, are always the focus of scholars. Studies of civilization fractures and new cultural paradigms require particular responsibility from researchers performing analysis in the thick of events. Today, this is the task facing Ukrainian scholars, who must collect the diverse empiric facts on Ukraine’s choice of civilization and generalize them rationally, while emotionally experiencing every moment of their country’s revolutionary changes.
The artistic factor has always been constitutive for Ukraine, where passionate political activists have often been recruited from among the country’s artists. During a long historical period in which Ukrainians did not have their own state, they combined both creative artists and politicians in their spiritual leaders. This phenomenon may be characterized with the words of the Ukrainian poet Yevhen Malaniuk: “if a nation does not have leaders, poets are its leaders.” Artists did not only preserve the nation, they raised it, taught it, and created it.1
Richard Wagner, in his work Art and Revolution, underlined that art could sanctify a revolution and give it real beauty.2 Indeed, art has a special place in the Ukrainian revolutionary events of 2013–2014. Detailed analysis of rich empirical material gathered by the author certifies that at the Maidan there were different kinds and genres of art: performance, installation, cinema, music, painting, sculpture, and literature – the full diversity of the creative artistic pallet. Professionals and amateurs, famous artists and artistic youth – the Maidan united them all and became...
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