In Memory of the “Festival Age” (1987–1994)

Was it Indeed a Phenomenon?
Seminars and Colloquia

The essay Yuri Andrukhovych currently works on is an attempt at a consistent recollection and a fairly objective reconstruction of several significant cultural events that fundamentally influenced Ukrainian society nearly three decades ago. The final years of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and the first years of independent Ukraine came together into what was essentially an uninterrupted festival of artistic events that were new for their time, or at the very least a clear alternative to the ossified official culture. A radical renewal of cultural discourses and values through poetry, rock music, visual and performance art became an ineluctable part of sociopolitical changes at that break of eras. How did it begin in Ukraine, and why did it end? What has been preserved in memory? What has been swallowed up by oblivion? Was the “festival age” a continuation of, or a supplement to, the East European velvet alternatives?
Yuri Andrukhovych poses these questions and others, and delves into the stream of testimonies about that “age of genius” – which has still not been fully described, narrativized, or lived through.


The speaker was Yuri Andrukhovych, world-renowned contemporary Ukrainian writer and Visiting Fellow of the Ukraine in European Dialogue Program at the IWM.

Comments and Moderation by Marci Shore, Associate Professor at the Department of History, Yale University and Visiting Fellow at the IWM.