Ukraine: affirmation and recognition of a nation" series of meetings

21 November 2023
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What do we know about the history of Ukraine, from its birth to the recognition of its independence? How can we tell the story of its culture, its literary, artistic and intellectual figures? How can we understand the aspirations of the Ukrainian people today? This series of meetings, organized by Inalco, the Bibliothèque nationale de France and the Bibliothèque universitaire des langues et civilisations (BULAC), explores these issues.
Drapeau ukrainien
Drapeau ukrainien © DR‎
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While Ukraine's culture is the fruit of daily life and shared stories, it is also marked by the tragedies of history. The Soviet Union made Ukraine pay the ultimate price for daring to take independence (1917-1922): between the 1920s and 1930s, hundreds of intellectuals were systematically eliminated, a "Renaissance shot"; from 1932 to 1933, the Holodomor ("Great Famine") decided by Stalin would lead to the deaths of millions of Ukrainians.

The twentieth century, however, was to fulfill the promises of freedom carried by Maroussia (Maria Vilinska, 1871), a popular success of Ukrainian literature: since the second independence of August 1991, the "Dignity Revolution" on Maïdan Square in February 2014 bore witness to the European momentum running through the country.

While Ukraine has been under Russian fire since 2014, the war has taken on unspeakable proportions since February 24, 2022. Men at the front, women targeted, children deported: today's horrors rekindle the wounds of history.

This cycle of meetings invites specialists to illuminate the present in the light of Ukraine's past, from the people's assertion of its existence to international recognition of the Ukrainian nation and its sovereignty. Three meetings take place at Inalco and three meetings at BnF (site Richelieu and site François-Mitterrand).

Scientific coordination : Iryna Dmytrychyn, lecturer, head of Ukrainian studies at Inalco.

Les frontières de l'Ukraine


Monday May 22 - 18h-20h - Inalco, PLC (Paris 13e) - Amphi 1

With Iaroslav Lebedynsky, historian, specialist in the ancient warrior cultures of the steppe and the Caucasus, professor of Ukrainian history at Inalco.

Download the conference text.

Free admission subject to availability.

The "shot Renaissance": in Ukraine (1920s-1930s): figures of a sacrificed intelligentsia

Friday, June 16. 2023 - 2-6pm - BNF - Petit auditorium

Half-day study session on the great figures of 1920s Ukrainian literature repressed by the Bolsheviks. A selection of documents from the BULAC will be presented on this occasion, shedding light on the editorial history, historiography and leading figures of the "Shot Renaissance".

The day followed by the presentation and screening of the documentary film Slovo House by Taras Tomenko, from 6pm to 8pm.

Free admission. Reservations recommended on the BNF website.

The event will be broadcast on the BNF's YouTube channel and on this page on June 16 at 2pm.

The Holodomor or Extermination by Hunger: the Great Famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine


Thursday, November 30, 2023 - 6:30-8:00 pm - BNF - Petit auditorium

With Nicolas Werth, historian, specialist in the history of the Soviet Union, director of research at the Institut d'histoire du temps présent (CNRS) and president of the Mémorial-France association.

Free admission. Reservations recommended on the BNF website.

"Maroussia", novel by Marco Vovtchok: itineraries of a phenomenon of Ukrainian literature and its author


Tuesday, December 5, 2023 - 6:30-8:00 pm - Richelieu - Salle de conférences (5, rue Vivienne - 75002 Paris)

This conference focuses on Russian-Ukrainian writer Marco Vovtchok's short story, Maroussia, a committed work condemning the Russian occupation of Ukraine published in 1871.

With Iryna Dmytrychyn, senior lecturer and head of Ukrainian studies at Inalco.

Free admission. Reservations recommended on the BNF website.

Ukraine: from Euromaidan to war. A society mobilized for 10 years


Thursday, December 14, 2023 - 7:00-9:00 pm - Inalco, PLC (65 rue des Grands Moulins - Paris 13e) - Amphi 5

On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Maïdan, also known as the Revolution of Dignity, this conference takes a photographic and analytical look at the transformations of Ukrainian society : "Maïdan: emancipations and mobilizations of Ukrainian society (2013-2023)". With :

  • Ioulia Shukan, lecturer in Slavic studies at Paris Nanterre University, researcher at the Institut des sciences sociales du politique. Author of Génération Maïdan : aux origines de la résistance ukrainienne (2022, éd. de l'Aube)
  • Guillaume Herbaut, photographer, journalist. Author of Ukraine : terre désirée (2022, ed. Textuel)
  • Sophie Lambroschini, researcher specializing in Eastern Europe, at the Marc Bloch Research Center in Berlin. Author of Ukrainiens (2022, ed. Henry Dougier)