Presentation of recommendations on memorialization and commemoration of the russo-Ukrainian war for local communities

The Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance, National Museum of the Revolution of Dignity and National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War prepared the recommendations on remembrance and commemoration of the participants, victims and events of the russo-Ukrainian war.

On August 29, Day of Remembrance of the Fallen Defenders of Ukraine, they held the discussion of these recommendations with the specialists of the remembrance sphere. The discussion took place in the space of the exhibition “Ukraine – Crucifixion” of the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War.

Director General of the Museum Yurii Savchuk greeted the participants and wished a fruitful work in the walls of the institution. In particular, he said: “This is high honor for us to join the process of formation of the Ukrainians’ historical remembrance of the war, the largest military conflict in Europe after World War II. From the early days of the full-scale invasion, our Museum has been taking an active position at the cultural front and prepared the number of projects on the events of the russo-Ukrainian war resounding in Ukraine and the world. The experience of our institution can be used by different establishments and organizations facing the questions regarding the forms and methods of preserving the traumatic memory”.

“We received many requests from the self-government bodies that do not have the shaped understanding how to memorialize the ongoing war events”, the Head of the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance Anton Drobovych mentioned this when starting the discussion.

These recommendations will become a guideline for local communities that plan to create a museum exposition, memorial space or another project related to preservation of memory on the russo-Ukrainian war, commemoration of the Ukrainian defenders and the war victims.

The recommendations were presented by the authors’ team:

Deputy Head of the Ukrainian Institute of the National Remembrance Volodymyr Tylishchak.

researcher of the National Museum of the Revolution of Dignity Anastasia Haidukevych-Kachuro,

head of the Research and Exposition Department of the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War Iryna Kotsabiuk,

representative of the Department for Scientific Provision of the National Remembrance Policy, Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance, Ivan Stychynskyi,

During the presentation, the team emphasized the peculiarities of the Ukrainian context and challenges for the professional community. In particular, they discussed the needs to document the events and collect the artifacts without waiting for the end of the war, as the large massive of the war materials can be lost; to search for own means of remembrance without simple copying the foreign experience. They also mentioned the fact that during the war, on different levels, the memorial projects appear, and this stimulates generation of approaches right now.

The discussion in the professional circle was the first step towards recommendations for the broader audience. The representatives of the state government bodies, museums, non-governmental organizations and projects in the sphere of remembrance joined it.

In particular, the participants were:

historian and public activist Vitalii Nakhmanovych,

co-founder and curator of the platform for culture of remembrance “Past / Future / Art”, cultural manager Kateryna Semeiuk,

representative of the remembrance platform “Memorial” Valeria Lauda,

management of the Department of Culture of the Kyiv Municipal State Administration: Anna Kutsenko and Yevhenii Samoilenko,

co-founder of the non-governmental organization “Museum of Modern Arts” Yulia Hnat,

representatives of the Center of the War History Study of the Armed Forces of Ukraine: Volodymyr Simperovych, Andrii Kachuro,

representative of the National Museum of Military History of Ukraine Yevhenii Shupik,

head of Sector of Oral Sources Accounting and Preservation of the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance Tetiana Kovtunovych.

Taking into account the results of the discussion, the recommendations will be supplemented, after which the first redaction of them will be published on the websites of the developing institutions, and the society will be invited to the broader discussion of this document and the memorialization of the war in general.