Ukraine: Thinking together
Kyiv, 15-19 May 2014
Under the heading “Ukraine: Thinking together” an international group of intellectuals will gather 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, taking place from 15 to 19 May, will feature some of Europe’s, America’s, Russia’s and Ukraine’s most interesting opinion makers and intellectuals, including Bernard-Henri Lévy, Slavenka Drakulic, Timothy Snyder, Mustafa Nayem, Serhii Leshchenko, Agnieszka Holland, Adam Michnik, Serhii Zhadan, Ivan Krastev, Wolf Biermann, Karl Schlögel and Bernard Kouchner.
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 will be the subjects of panel discussions and speeches. The discussions will take 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. Eurozine is a partner of the event, which is being organized in Kyiv by Krytyka.
A complete list of organizers and partners as well as the public programme are available below. More information, in Ukrainian, can be found on Krytyka‘s
Updated on 6 June 2014: In the Eurozine BLOG, editors commented on the event as it happened and provided further reflection on the Ukraine crisis. The media take-up of the conference was considerable. Eurozine partner Krytyka, the main local organizer, has gathered some of the press response — from New York Times‘ op ed articles to television interviews with some of the protagonists — on a special webpage.
Parallel to the main panel discussions at the Kyiv conference, some participants also gave public lectures directed at young Kyivan students. Ivan Krastev, Bernard-Henri Lévy, Slavenka Drakulic and Paul Berman mesmerized an audience consisting of people who can and will form Ukraine’s future. All these lectures, as well as the opening and closing press conferences, were documented on video and are available online.