LOOK INSIDE: Beloved Ukraine

Page 1

Patriarch Filaret enters the main hall to perform Sunday service in St. Volodymyr’s Cathedral. Filaret currently serves as the primate and patriarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

Worshipers cross their arms in reverence, as they stand before the Filaret during prayer service in St.Volodymyr’s Cathedral.

Candle lighting at the Holy Trinity Ioninsky Monastery.
A silent moment of prayer at St. Volodymyr’s Cathedral. A young girl stands beside a medieval fresco while waiting her parents to come out of the prayer room at St. Cyril’s Monastery.

The Heart of Ukraine

The arts and culture of Ukraine are a testament to its rich history and diverse influences, shaped by the legacy of the ancient Slavic and Cossack people who lived in this region for many generations. Ukraine’s arts and culture are also greatly rooted in its Orthodox Christian faith, the predominant religion in Ukraine since 988 A.D., which blended with the region’s ancient pagan folklore and mythology. Ukraine’s unique artistic heritage has also been forged by centuries of oppression, colonization, and war, as the country and its people struggle to maintain their existence.

In the twentieth century, under the rule of the Soviet Union, much of Ukrainian culture was suppressed, and its creative talent was persecuted, denied work, imprisoned, and in many cases even killed. All of this was part of the Russification of Ukraine, often referred to as the Executed Renaissance, one of the nation’s darkest modern tragedies.

Despite these coercive efforts, the heart of Ukraine kept beating strong, with many Ukrainian artists breaking through to the world stage. Mykola Leontovych composed the ever-popular Carol of the Bells. The opera star Solomiya Krushelnytska is recognized globally

as one of the most outstanding singers of the last century.

In the visual arts, Ukraine has a long history of producing some of the world’s most renowned artists, including Ivan Aivazovsky, known for his vibrant and expressive use of color and his ability to convey powerful emotions through his work. Kazymyr Malevych started Suprematism, an early twentieth-century avant-garde art movement focused on the fundamentals of geometry, which was a major influence on other modern art movements.

In literature, Taras Shevchenko, Ivan Franko, and Lesya Ukrainka all left indelible marks with their creative work, especially in their poetry, much of which reflects the struggles and aspirations of the Ukrainian people, delving into themes of national identity, social justice, and human values. They have inspired generations of Ukrainian artists, particularly today, as the country struggles to hold on to its autonomy and independence.

In recent years, especially because of the aggression brought about by Russia, new efforts to define and assert Ukraine’s identity through the arts have emerged, in what many Ukrainians refer to as the New Renaissance.

A ballet dancer backstage at the National Opera of Ukraine.

Women pick out herbs and flowers to make wreaths for the Ivan Kupala Day Festival at the Pyrohovo Village-Museum.

While the festival is considered a religious holiday in the Orthodox Church, many of the traditions and rituals actually date back to ancient pagan celebrations of the midsummer solstice.


Ballet performers wait backstage at the National Opera of Ukraine.


PAUL CHESLEY comes from a family of inventors, artists, and adventurers who encouraged exploration into the unknown.

By the time Chesley was in his midtwenties, he realized that photography was his primary calling, and a way to make a contribution to life by documenting the peoples and cultures of the world through his camera.

For the next four decades, beginning in the late 1970s, he completed more than 35 projects around the world with the National Geographic Society.

He also freelanced for numerous American and international publications including Time, Life, Newsweek, Fortune, Forbes, New York Times, Paris Match, and Stern-Geo magazines.

His latest memoir Paul Chesley, A Photographic Voyage won the National Ben Franklin Gold Award for America’s best coffee table book.

Chesley was also honored by the inclusion of his work in the Society’s first major exhibition The Art of Photography at National Geographic: A 100 Year Retrospective at the Corcoran Gallery of art in Washington DC. Solo exhibitions of his work have appeared in museums in London, Tokyo, New York and Honolulu.

In 2012 during the National Geographic Society’s 125th anniversary, Chesley’s work was included in the exhibition and auction at Christie’s in New York City. His greatest enjoyment is capturing on film the lives of people and cultures on his international photographic assignments.

YULIIA HROMYLO (Essays) grew up in the town of Smila in central Ukraine and comes from a family of geography teachers. She received a degree in Arts at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, majoring in Ukrainian Language and Literature and English. She worked as an English teacher before her passion for her country led her to become a guide for walking tours in Kyiv, where she shared the city’s history with foreign visitors. She now works in talent recruitment for a Ukrainian product IT company.

Yuliia’s love for travel—she has explored twenty-three out of Ukraine’s twentyfive regions—and exploring her country’s culture continue to inspire her to share it with others.


Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.