• Wednesday, June 19, 2024

The First Lady attends the Kyiv Book Fair

Discover how Ukraine's First Lady, Olena Zelenska, highlights resilience at Kyiv's Book Arsenal Festival amidst discussions on Russian cultural destruction.
on Jun 03, 2024
The First Lady attends the Kyiv Book Fair | Frontlist

Olena Zelenska, Ukraine's First Lady, made a surprise appearance at Kyiv's Book Arsenal International Festival, where she saw the "Books Destroyed by Russia" display.

The First Lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, attended the 12th International Book Arsenal Festival in Kyiv. "Life on the Edge" is the main topic and metaphor of this Book Arsenal.

First Lady Olena Zelenska, along with Olesia Ostrovska-Liuta, Director General of the Mystetskyi Arsenal, and Yuliia Kozlovets, Coordinator of the International Book Arsenal Festival, visited the stands of Ukrainian publishing houses, including the "Books Destroyed by Russia" exhibition of burned books.

"It is critical to discuss not only literature, but also how Russia is destroying Ukrainian culture and the people who shape it. After all, Russia has previously torched our books, libraries, bookstores, and museums. "These books were supposed to smell of ink, but they smell of grief," Zelenska stated.

The First Lady bought numerous leftover books from the Vivat publishing house, which was destroyed by a Russian missile attack, including "Izmaragd of Princess Nesvitska" by Oleksandr Irvanets and "Happiness Hunters" by Valeriy Puzik. She stated that she had also purchased the following books for her private library: 

"Poems and Songs" by the poet Hlib Babich, who was killed in the war, "Forpost Okhtyrka" by Yevheniia Podobna, "The Train Arrives on Schedule: Stories of People and Railways" by Marichka Paplauskaite (the author of the foreword is the British actor, writer, director, and Ukrzaliznytsia passenger Stephen Fry), and "Home for Dom" by Victoria Amelina, a writer who died in a Russian shelling a few days after the 2023 Book Arsenal.

"Nobody leaves the Arsenal without a stack of new books. "In the face of Ukrainian resistance to aggression, it is no longer just about reading; it is also about solidarity and preserving our voice," the first lady stated.

The second day of the Book Arsenal International Festival drew even more people eager to discuss the achievements and problems that Ukrainian publishing enterprises encountered during the war.

The festival also caters to youthful literary aficionados. The Workshop pavilion hosted a workshop on the principles of politics and media literacy for children and teenagers.

The "Ukrainian Radio: 100 Years of Shared Presence" address was a highlight of the day. Radio operators presented unique stories about their broadcasting experiences in Ukraine's occupied territory and during full-scale fighting.

At the Publishing Stage, the event "Books as a Form of Resistance" took place, where specialists discussed the increasing popularity of Ukrainian literature abroad during the war and measures to maintain it.

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