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Ukraine’s defiance goes beyond the battlefield

Poetry may not have the power to stop Russian missile strikes but Ukraine’s literary festival season, which carried on in spite of the horrors of war, became a testament to the importance of defending culture during the invasion. After all, the Russians have been very clear that they do not recognise the Ukrainian identity.

In Chernivtsi, a small Western Ukrainian city located on the border with Romania, September begins with poetry. Artists from throughout Ukraine and all over the world have been gathering there for the past 13 years during the annual Meridian Czernowitz Festival. Due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, this year’s festival was different, and, in the words of Meridian’s chief editor Evgenia Lopata, “a small miracle”.
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December 7, 2022 - Kate Tsurkan - Issue 6 2022MagazineStories and ideas

An outdoor poetry reading and discussion during the 2022 Meridian Czernowitz Festival in September 2022. Despite the war and martial law, this key cultural event still took place in Chernivtsi, Ukraine. Photo: Julia Weber

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