May 23, 2023
Luxembourg, Press release
Presenting the First Festival of Ukrainian Culture: UA Days in Luxembourg
Ukrainian Days in Luxembourg (UA Days) is the festival of Ukrainian culture that offers various activities to learn and experience its richness while fostering cultural exchange between Ukraine and Luxembourg. UA Days in Luxembourg 2023 will be the first event of its kind, featuring an incredible line-up of performances and cultural experiences. The festival includes a number of events that reveal and explain Ukrainian heritage in various forms of culture – music, cinema, art, fashion, and photography. These events will take place in various locations from June 1 to June 15 2023.
The festival is hosted by LUkraine asbl and supported by the Embassy of Ukraine in the Kingdom of Belgium, the Consulate of Ukraine in Luxembourg, and the Representation of European Commission in Luxembourg.
“On behalf of our team, I am thrilled about the launch of the first-ever festival of Ukrainian culture in Luxembourg. This event holds great meaning and significance as it goes beyond mere cultural celebration. It serves as a powerful platform for enhancing European support of Ukraine. Through showcasing the vibrant traditions, artistry, and resilience of the Ukrainian people, we aim to deepen the understanding and appreciation of Ukraine’s rich cultural heritage. We are grateful to all our partners who have supported us in organizing this festival.”, says Inna Yaremenko, a Vice President of LUkraine asbl.
Mariam Naiem participated in the event as a speaker. Mariam is a Ukrainian of Afghan origin and holds a degree in cultural studies. She is actively involved in speaking, teaching, and writing about various cultural topics. Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, she has dedicated herself to educating the English-speaking world about the cultural context of the war. Her aim is to foster a deeper understanding of Russian colonialism and the cultural repression inflicted on Ukraine and neighboring countries by Russia. Additionally, she is actively engaged in decolonizing the discourse on Ukraine, centering Ukrainian voices, and debunking Russian and pro-Russian imperialist narratives.
“Ukrainian culture, much like the resilient Ukrainian people, has endured unimaginable atrocities throughout history. We have witnessed genocide, both a century ago and tragically, even in the present day. Our books and cultural artifacts are being systematically destroyed in the occupied cities. In these dark times, supporting Ukrainian culture goes beyond mere diplomatic gestures; it becomes a lifeline, a vital form of assistance in the face of ongoing genocide. By lending your support to Ukraine, you are not only standing by our side, but you are also championing the values that form the bedrock of a free society. The principles of freedom of speech and the right to choose resonate deeply within us. They are the very ideals that Europe has ardently pursued throughout its storied history.”, says Mariam Naiem
The festival’s ambassador is Frank Wilde, a renowned stylist and costume designer, known for his collaborations with notable figures such as dancer and actress Romy Haag, singer Nena, and actress Heike Makatsch. He has also contributed to Sarah Connor’s music video “From Sarah With Love”. Demonstrating his solidarity with Ukraine, he regularly shares his elevator selfies of outfits in blue and yellow, the colors of Ukraine, on his Instagram page.
|June 3, 15:00Open for public till September 2023||Special photo exhibition dedicated to Ukraine (Hesperange)||Hesper Park, 476 Route de Thionville, Hesperange|
|June 5, 2023, 18:00 -20.00||UA Days Opening Night: “Extravaganza”||Tramsschapp, 49 Rue Ermesinde, Luxembourg|
|June 7, 2023, 10:30By invitation only|
Open for public from June 8 till September 2023
|Opening of Maria Prymachenko Art Exhibition. With the presence of the Mayor of Luxembourg, madame Lydie Polfer.||Luxembourg City Museum, 14 Rue du St Esprit, Luxembourg|
|June 7, 18:30||Ukrainian Vyshyvankas Defile||Ukrainian Designers Product Space, 40 Rue Philippe II, 2340 Ville-Haute Luxembourg|
|June 10, 14:00||“Viktor Robot” animated movie show||Utopia, 16 Av. de la Faiencerie, 1510 Limpertsberg Luxembourg|
|June 11, 18:00||Charity meet-up “Ukrainian women: Resilience&Heritage” (Speaker: Irena Karpa, a renowned feminist, Ukrainian writer, journalist, TV presenter, singer, a member of PEN Ukraine)||Centre Culturel Altrimenti, 5 Av. Marie-Thérèse, Luxembourg|
|June 12, 18:30||“Klondike” movie show||Cinémathèque, 17 Pl. du Théâtre, Luxembourg|
|June 14 18:30||Ukrainian Fashion Show||La Brasserie Schuman, 1 Rond Point Schuman, L-2525 Luxembourg (Limpertsberg)|
|June 15, 20:00 ||“Maid-in-Law” (”Viddana”) movie show||Utopia, 16 Av. de la Faiencerie, Luxembourg|
|June 1-15||Special Ukrainian Menu||Aal Schoul Restaurant, 33 A, Grand-Rue, L-8372 Hobscheid|
|June 15, 18:00||UA Days Grand Closing CelebrationWith the presence of Frank Peter Wilde (fashion designer, blogger)||Rotondes, 3 Place des Rotondes, Luxemburg|
From June 3 till September 1, 2023 – Special photo exhibition dedicated to Ukraine
Opening event: 3 June, Saturday, 15:00, Hesper Park, 476 Route de Thionville, Hesperange
The captivating photos showcasing the beauty of Ukrainian locations, places, and people have been captured by a talented team of Ukrainian photographers. Their lenses have immortalized the essence beauty of Ukraine, immersing the visitors into the Ukrainian world that is sure to impress and inspire.
June 5, 18.00 – UA Days Opening Night: Extravaganza
Location: Tramsschapp, 49 Rue Ermesinde, Luxembourg
“Extravaganza” by Oleksandr Teterin is a universe of mythical creatures-characters from “The Forest Song” (1911), a fantasy play by Ukraine’s famous writer Lesya Ukrainka.
Lesya Ukrainka was a prominent Ukrainian writer who lived during the 19th and 20th centuries. She was a feminist and a leading figure in the modernist movement in Ukrainian literature. During this year’s Cannes festival, Catherine Deneuve recited her poem ‘Hope’ (Nadiya) to show her support for Ukraine. “Extravaganza” is a tribute to Lesya Ukrainka and her amazing “Lisova pisnya” (“Forest song”). Lost in the melodies of trees and flowers blooming, mythical creatures sing the songs of the Forest’s soul. “Forest Song” explores the tension between ideals and reality, describes the conflict between duty and dream, and the tragedy of loss.
The famous Ukrainian violinist Vasyl Popadiuk will open the event with the eponymous song and will immerse the audience in the world of magical creatures, as well as poetry readings in French, which will help the audience to dive into the beautiful atmosphere of the event. Vasyl Popadiuk, a “Ukrainian Paganini”, is known for his virtuosic violin playing and as the lead player in PAPADUKE band. The ensemble is celebrated for its fusion of Eastern European melodies with classic pop, rock, jazz, and traditional Slavic and gypsy music. In addition to his performances on stage, Popadiuk accompanies the National Ballet of Canada on piano. His captivating performances have earned him a devoted following, and he and his band have toured extensively, performing in 150-200 concerts and music festivals annually around the world, including in the USA, Canada, Italy, France, Germany, Jordan, Poland, Mexico, and Ukraine. Born in Lviv, Ukraine, Popadiuk has been living in Canada since 1997. Proud of his Ukrainian heritage, he performs charity concerts internationally to support Ukrainians and promote Ukrainian culture.
From June 7 till September 1, 2023 – Maria Prymachenko Art Exhibition
Location: Luxembourg City Museum, 14 Rue du St Esprit, Luxembourg
Opening event: June 7, 10:30 (by the reservation only). With the presence of the Mayor of Luxembourg, madame Lydie Polfer, representatives of the Maria Prymachenko Family Foundation and UNESCO.
With a fashion show by the designer Tamar Keburia.
The exhibition is co-organised by Luxembourg City Museum and LUkraine asbl. Available for visitors till September 2023.
Maria Prymachenko, an outstanding self-educated Ukrainian artist of the 20th century, spent most of her life in a village in the Kyiv region, while her paintings conquered the world: Paris, Warsaw, Sofia, Montreal, Prague, and even Beijing. Maria Prymachenko’s creative output includes more than 3,000 paintings. Rumors have it that Pablo Picasso noticed the paintings of the Ukrainian artist and called them “beautiful works of a brilliant woman.”
She became world-renowned for her fairy-tale worlds in the genre of naive art or primitivism. The artist worked with images of good and evil, created a series of paintings about the Chornobyl nuclear power disaster, and even appealed to American President Reagan with a request for peace. Also, you might have seen her images in Ukrianian musical band “Stefania” video mash up they presented during the Eurovision Final 2023.
On February 25, 2022, a Russian missile hit the museum in Ivankiv, where Maria Prymachenko’s paintings were kept. Thanks to Ukrainian volunteers and local residents who were under occupation, the artist’s collection of paintings was saved. Today, together with the Maria Prymachenko Family Foundation, we are bringing 5 masterpieces to present to the people of Luxembourg! The event is also being attended by the UNESCO representatives.
Maria’s images have become a source of inspiration for many artists worldwide. To preserve Ukrainian heritage and make it a part of Ukrainians’ daily routine, designer Tamar Keburia built a collection around the works of the eminent Ukrainian painter Maria Prymachenko. In collaboration with the Maria Prymachenko Family Foundation, some of the artist’s most famous motifs were recreated as pixel art and interwoven into the latest capsule presented during Paris fashion week, which will be showcased at the exhibition’s opening event.
June 7, 18.30 – Ukrainian Vyshyvankas Defile
Location: Ukrainian Designers Product Space, 40 Rue Philippe II, Luxembourg
Vyshyvanka (Ukrainian traditional embroidered clothes) is not only an ancient part of Ukrainians’ wardrobe that has been passed down from generation to generation and served as a talisman for its owner. It has accompanied the Ukrainian people since ancient times and was a symbol of rebellion and a way of self-expression of their freedom and defiance of their oppressors. During the Holodomor (the genocide of Ukrainians committed by the Soviets in 1932-1933), the embroidered shirt was also a reason for harassment as people exchanged them for bread to survive. In 2015, Crimean Tatars who wore Ukrainian embroidered shirts on Vyshyvanka Day were detained by Russian special services and falsely accused of preparing a terrorist act. And with the start of the full-scale war of Russia against Ukraine in 2022, those Ukrainians who were fleeing their homes under Russian occupation tried to take out their vyshyvankas, wearing them inside out and putting sweaters on top, risking their lives to keep this symbol of their identity.
Each region of Ukraine has its ornament of vyshyvanka, and we would like to present its diversity to you. Professional models, alongside women from Luxembourg, will showcase vyshyvankas designed by Ukrainian designer Foberini, symbolizing the beauty of traditional clothing and the indomitable spirit of Ukrainians. Since 2014, the Foberini team has been dedicated to translating ancient traditions into modern designs and showcasing them in showrooms worldwide. The brand’s designers draw inspiration from their own country and its rich cultural heritage. Each item is handmade, featuring traditional handwork techniques.
June 11, 18.00 – Charity meet-up “Ukrainian women: Resilience&Heritage”
Location: Centre Culturel Altrimenti, 5 Av. Marie-Thérèse, Luxembourg
Speaker: Irena Karpa, a renowned feminist, Ukrainian writer, journalist, TV presenter, singer, a member of PEN Ukraine.
In Ukrainian tradition, women have always held a prominent position as independent individuals with nearly equal rights and freedoms as men. They have been active participants in shaping historical events, not only within the country but also beyond its borders. Today, Ukrainian women continue to play a vital role, fighting on the front lines, representing Ukraine’s interests internationally, volunteering, and defending not only their country but Europe and the principles of democracy against Russian aggression. During the event, we will discuss the female image as central to Ukrainian culture, with its important role deeply embedded in society.
As a speaker, we are honored to have Irena Karpa, a renowned feminist, Ukrainian writer, journalist, TV presenter, singer, a member of PEN Ukraine. Irena Karpa previously served as the first secretary for cultural affairs of the Embassy of Ukraine in France.
During the event, we will screen and discuss the documentary film “Oh, Sister!” which portrays the experiences of six brave women in Ukraine who confront the challenges of the ongoing Russian invasion. This inspiring film showcases their resilience as they fight for peace, justice, and freedom. Commissioned by the Nobel Women’s Initiative in partnership with United for Ukraine, it follows the journey of three Nobel Peace Prize laureates – Tawakkol Karman, Jody Williams, and Leymah Gbowee – as they visit Krakow, Poland, and Lviv, Ukraine in June 2022. The documentary highlights the pivotal role of women in the face of war, emphasizing their determination to create a better future.
Entrance to the event is by donation. All funds raised will be transferred to LUkraine’s projects.
From 1 till 15 June, 2023 – Ukrainian Cinema
Throughout the festival, our partner cinemas, Utopia, Cinextdoor, and Kinepolis, will be showcasing a variety of Ukrainian movies and cartoons suitable for audiences of all ages, including adults, kids, and families.
June 10, 14.00 – “Viktor Robot”
Location: Utopia, 16 Av. de la Faiencerie, 1510 Limpertsberg Luxembourg
Viktor Robot (2020) is a full-length animated cartoon film. The film received the prize of audience sympathy at the Odesa International Film Festival in 2020 and became the best-animated film according to the national award of film critics “Kinokolо”. Also, the animated work received an award from the Ukrainian Film Academy “Golden Dzyga” in the nomination for “Best Song”.
The distant future setting features an artificial star that is supposed to provide energy to the planets around it but is not working. The only one who can fix it is little Vika’s grandfather, who created this light. However, he mysteriously disappears. The girl, together with her assistant – a tiny robot Viktor – goes in search of him. This is how the exciting adventures of two friends begin.
June 12, 18.30 – “Klondikе”
Location: Cinémathèque, 17 Pl. du Théâtre, Luxembourg
The screening is organized in partnership with CineEast and Cinémathèque. Funds raised by CineEast during a movie show will be donated to LUkraine, supporting the Ukrainians in need within Ukraine.
Klondikе (2022) is a drama film directed by Marina Er Horbach. The plot revolves around the events of the Russian-Ukrainian war in Donbas and the downing of flight MH17. The Ukrainian Oscar Committee chose the film as the official representative of Ukraine for the “Oscar 2023” award in the “Best International Feature Film” category. In January 2022, the film received the award for “Best Direction of World Cinema” at the Sundance Film Festival, the main independent film festival in the USA. The action revolves around a simple Ukrainian family that lives on the border of Ukraine and Russia.
In July 2014, Russian troops, under the guise of militia and allegedly fighting for the well-being of the inhabitants of Donbas, began an invasion of Ukrainian territory. Finding themselves in the center of an armed conflict, Tolik and Ira refuse to leave their native village, despite the fact that their house was under fire and representatives of the Russian armed forces appeared on the streets. Continuing to exist in a small village captured by the invaders, Tolik and Ira suddenly become unwitting witnesses of the egregious crime of the Russian army, which on July 17, 2014, shot down a civilian plane in the sky over Donbas.
June 15, 20.00 – “Maid-in-Law” (“Viddana”)
Location: Utopia, 16 Av. de la Faiencerie, Luxembourg
Viddana (2020) is a Ukrainian full-length film based on the novel “Felix Austria” by the Ukrainian writer Sofia Andruhovych, which became a “BBC Book of The Year – 2014”. The events of the film take place in the 19th century in Austro-Hungarian Ukraine. Dr. Unger loses his wife in a fire but manages to save two girls – his own daughter Adele and the daughter of domestic worker Stefania. In a moment of desperation, the doctor decides to raise them together. 25 years later, the girls have grown up and are just as inseparable, although Adele is now married. Stefania, on the other hand, manages the household, quenching her passion for cooking. But they still do not understand who they are to each other: sisters and friends, or maid and mistress.
Date&time TBC – “Pamfir”
Pamfir (2022) by Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk was selected for the programs of more than 40 festivals from 25 countries of the world, including the Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival 2022. Pamfir became one of the winners of the 47th Cleveland International Film Festival, won the “Best Film” award at the Cairo International Film Festival, and became the nominee for the European Discovery Award of the European Film Academy at the European Film Awards (“European Oscar”). The production was co-financed by Wady Films (Luxembourg).
The events of the film, which combines features of a family and criminal drama, take place in western Ukraine, on the border with Romania. The main character, nicknamed Pamfir, returns home from overseas earnings on the eve of the Malanka celebration (traditional Ukrainian holiday). He once promised to put an end to smuggling and went to work abroad. However, his wife and his son Nazar do not want him to leave again. The reckless act of Nazar forces Pamfir to take a risky path again and sets in motion a series of events that lead to the irreversible. The climax of the drama unfolds against the background of bright Malanka – a holiday that Nazar so wanted to spend with his father.
Date&time TBC – “Double Imelmann”
Double Imelmann (2021) by Vera Yakovenko is a movie about the lives of citizens in the “grey” zone of Ukrainian Donbas. In 2021, Double Imelmann took first place in the “Coronation of the Word” International Literary Competition in the “Film Screenplay” category. A Double Imelmann is an aerobatic figure where an aircraft turns 180 degrees twice in a row. In the film, a Ukrainian military plane crashes in the so-called “zone of anti-terrorist operation” (a former title for the territories of Donbas that were illegally occupied by Russia since 2014), and the surviving crew members find themselves in the occupied territory. They are scattered in the “gray” zone, which is neutral territory along the front line. Now, they need to escape alone, and for this, the military will have to perform a “double Imelmann ” with their lives. The main character is the mother of one of the crew members, who is trying to help her son escape from captivity.
June 14, 18.30 – Ukrainian Fashion Show
Location: La Brasserie Schuman, 1 Rond Point Schuman, L-2525 Luxembourg (Limpertsberg)
Ukrainian designers have been known around the world for a long time, but since last year, Ukrainian fashion has been going through a renaissance. Beyonce, Rihanna, Madonna, the Hadid sisters, Selena Gomez, Dua Lipa, and many other celebrities choose to wear Ukrainian designers, showing their support for Ukraine and Ukrainian artists. A special feature of the evening is the defile of models. These Ukrainian and Luxembourgish women, despite being non-professionals, will walk on the runway together wearing clothes from Ukrainian designers. This is meant to show that Ukrainian design and motifs can be an organic part of every woman’s daily wardrobe.
With the support of LAFF a.s.b.l., a platform to develop the creative industry in Luxembourg that consolidates art, fashion, shows, modeling, style, photo, and video, ElenaReva, Pustovit, T.mosca will showcase their clothes to represent the fashion segment of modern Ukraine.
ElenaReva is a luxury fashion label specializing in contemporary couture with an arty twist. The label is widely known for its collaborations with young artists and support for the Ukrainian art scene, which also became a core value of the brand. The designer focuses on high-tech fabrics and exceptional tailoring. The brand celebrates feminine, laconic forms in combination with art-directed prints. Sandra Bullock, Tia Mowry, and Laura Vandervoort were spotted wearing ElenaReva’s clothes.
Pustovit was founded by Liliia Poustovit in 1998 and is based in Kyiv. The brand’s key design approach lies in celebrating the spirit of life, the influence of world travels, and sacred elements of Ukrainian national heritage reworked in a new way. The designer pays attention to deep-rooted Ukrainian motifs, believing that the powerful, bright past gives us the strength and imagination to move into the future. While focusing on the rich national culture, Liliia Poustovit goes through delicate work with ethical symbols and codes to create brand-new reimagined pieces.
T. Mosca’s brand peculiarity and identity lie in high-quality knitwear. Sweaters, cardigans, coats, and even pajamas – knitwear is the basis of the brand’s collections. Its philosophy is that nature is an eternal source of inspiration. The brand uses only natural silk, merino wool, and cotton.
From 1 till 15 June, 2023 – Ukrainian Cuisine
Location: Aal Schoul Restaurant, 33 A, Grand-Rue, L-8372 Hobscheid
We are delighted to announce our partnership with Aal Schoul Restaurant, as they embrace the spirit of UA Days by introducing Ukrainian delicacies to their menu. Aal Schoul Restaurant has curated a special Ukrainian Menu to delight your taste buds. From June 1st to June 15th, immerse yourself in the rich flavors of Ukraine with the delectable dishes. Don’t miss this opportunity to experience the flavors of Ukraine. Come and join us on this delightful culinary journey!
June 15, 18.00 – UA Days Closing Celebration
Location: Rotondes, 3 Place des Rotondes, Luxembourg
The Closing Celebration marks the official end of the Ukrainian Days in Luxembourg. The festival closes with short film shows and a big concert of Ukrainian and Luxembourgees bands.
– Short films in different genres
– Amazing concert bands – Rome from Luxembourg and Xarms from Ukraine
– The posters collection of Ukrainian graphic art
– Delicious Ukrainian food
– Interactive activities
– Exclusive merch
XARMS is a trio of producers formed in Kyiv, Ukraine in 2022 during the war. Their sound combines heavy drops with roaring basses, slightly ringing industrial drums, calming vocals, dark vibes, and unique dance grooves that define the main features of electronic music. The group will be attending the festival to showcase their modern, world-class musical product that was produced in Ukraine and presents a modern rock sound.
ROME, a neofolk group, was founded in November 2005 and is considered a significant activity within the neofolk genre. Their sound combines military drumming, horns, atmospheric electronic textures, ethereal acoustic guitars, and poetic lyrics that often focus on war-related themes, love, pain, and death. The band is also known for its unwavering support for Ukraine, having provided essential supplies to Ukrainian cities and streamed live performances on YouTube with PayPal links to increase donations. Recently, they performed a live show in Kyiv that was also streamed on YouTube, raising funds for homeless shelters, dog shelters, and supplies for civilians in Bakhmut. One of the band members has even completed nine missions bringing much-needed supplies and assisting refugees from the war-torn country.
These bands will be performing together on one stage, symbolizing unity and solidarity and showcasing the common European future of the culture of both countries.
You are heartily invited to attend each of the events and have the opportunity to create exclusive material featuring the festival participants.
Our guests available for the interview:
Vasyl Popadiuk (musician, ‘Ukrainian Paganini’) – 6 June /https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasyl_Popadiuk
Tamar Keburia (Georgian designer based in Ukraine and UK) – 7 June https://tamarkeburia.com
Irena Karpa (Ukrainian writer, activist) – 12 June/ https://www.instagram.com/qarpa/?hl=fr
Frank Peter Wilde (fashion designer) – 15 June/ https://instagram.com/frankpeterwilde?igshid=MmJiY2I4NDBkZg==
Press contact: Olena Neskorodiana, PR&Communications