16.11.2012 - 17.11.2012

Ukraine — Next-Door Neighbour

Ukraine — Next-Door Neighbour Meetings with the World

Since time immemorial the Polish and Ukrainian nations have been living in immediate neighbourhood, for several centuries even in the same country, although it would be more correct to say in the same countries' Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, followed by the Russian Empire, the Habsburg Monarchy and the Second Polish Republic. But the shared history and life experience, often very dramatic, have not translated into good knowledge of each other or, what is worse, the willingness to get to know each other better. Concerted actions of both countries and the strategic assumptions of foreign policy — the Eastern Partnership — should be supported with projects explaining the complex discourse of Polish-Ukrainian neighbourhood. The complicated and multi-layered political, social and cultural relations between Poles and Ukrainians, when translated into a language of specific educational activities, need to be preceded by comprehensive intellectual reflection and artistic interpretation. Therefore, we ask representatives of Polish and Ukrainian elites how they participate in this dialogue between neighbours now — thinking about the future.


Friday, 16 November 2012, 4 p.m.  – 7.30 p.m.

  • Poles and Ukrainians — history that brings together and tears apart

A debate featuring: Oksana Weretiuk, Roman Drozd, Jarosław Hrycak, Bohdan Halczak and Eugeniusz Sobol
Moderator: Tadeusz Sucharski

  • Images of neighbours in education and history textbooks

A debate featuring: Agnieszka Matusiak, Jurij Wołoszyn, Bogusław Bakuła and Bohdan Halczak
Moderator: Piotr Tyma

Saturday 17 November 2012,  3 p.m. – 6 p.m.

  • Next-door stranger: Polish-Ukrainian relations in history and modern times.

A debate featuring: Mykoła Riabczuk, Feliks Sztejnbuk, Piotr Tyma, Tadeusz Sucharski, Rafał Milach
Moderator: Joanna Cieplińska

  • Shared heritage?

Participants: Romana Cielątkowska, Jakub Szczepański, Rev. Andrzej Sroka, Grażyna Stojak, Ołys Dzyndra, Mykoła Riabczuk.
Moderator: Magdalena Nowak


  • Temples on a Pilgrimage to the Faithful (open in the Old Town Hall between 16 and 23 November 2012), stimulated reflection on a broader issue – the shared cultural heritage of both nations in the circumstances of the borderland and multiculturalism. This is a multi-faceted problem, giving rise to many questions of a general and universal nature, concerning e.g. the current interference in the cultural landscape or the attitudes to the ownership of cultural remembrance. Finally, there are reflections on specific issues, such as architecture and condition of buildings, conditions and legal procedure for the transfer, preservation of sacral space and the place of the church in new circumstances.

  • Black Sea of Concrete, exhibition of a photo essay by Rafał Milach (open from 16 December 2012, between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. at Baltic Sea Cultural Centre Gallery, Gdańsk, ul. Korzenna 33/35). What strikes you first is the concrete. Miles and miles of grey blocks, some painted yellow and blue. (...) A surreal image. It clashes with the beautiful landscape surrounding this place. Industrial zones and scrapyards have little to do with the harmony between man and nature. The local landscape has been violated by man. (...) The young democracy that broke free from Russian influence still cannot shed its Soviet past. 
    (Rafał Milach)

             EXHIBITION PREVIEW: 17 November, 6.30 p.m.