Under the heading “Ukraine: Thinking Together” an international group of intellectuals gathered in Kyiv to demonstrate solidarity, meet their Ukrainian counterparts, and carry out a broad public discussion about the meaning of Ukrainian pluralism for the future of Europe, Russia, and the world. The discussions, which took place from 15 to 19 May, featured some of Europe’s, America’s, Russia’s and Ukraine’s most interesting opinion makers and intellectuals, including Wolf Biermann, Slavenka Drakulic, Viktor Erofeyev, Agnieszka Holland, Yaroslav Hrytsak, Bernard Kouchner, Ivan Krastev, Andrey Kurkov, Bernard-Henri Lévy, Adam Michnik, Mustafa Nayem, Mykola Riabchuk, Karl Schlögel, Karl Schwarzenberg, Sławomir Sierakowski, Timothy Snyder, Serhii Zhadan, and Josef Zissels.
The Maidan and reactions to it, in Ukraine and abroad, raise classical and contemporary questions of politics and ethics. How can human rights be grounded and how are we motivated by the idea of human rights? How and when does language provide access to the universal, and how and when does it define political difference? Are some experiences so intense that they alter the character of intellectual exchange as such? How is decency in politics possible amidst international anarchy, domestic corruption, and the general fallibility of individuals? Does revolution renew Europe and revive political thought or can revolution, like everything else, be consumed by the clichés and abstractions of globalization? What does the revival of geopolitics mean for the world order? Is the Maidan an eruption of youth or an expression of history? Does its memory bring Ukrainians closer to European preoccupations, or introduce constellations that confound myths?
These were the topics of panel discussions and speeches. The discussions took place in Ukrainian, Russian, German, Polish, French and English.
The conference “Ukraine: Thinking together” was initiated by Leon Wieseltier of The New Republic and Timothy Snyder of Yale University / IWM.
The public programme as well as a list of organizers and partners are available below. More information, in Ukrainian, can be found on the website of the local organizer Krytyka.
- Public programme (pdf)
- Participant list (pdf)
- Organizers and partners (pdf)
- Opening remarks by Timothy Snyder (pdf)
Visit Eurozine’s blog on the conference here.
Further reading on Eurozine:
Media Clippings can be found here.
Not Even Past: Ukrainian Histories, Russian Politics, European Futures (lecture on May 15)
“Ukraine: Thinking Together” (press conference on May 16)
The Global Politics of Protest (lecture on May 17)
Intellectuals as Bad Boys? (lecture on May 18)
“Ukraine: Thinking Together” (press conference on May 19)