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Book Arsenal will not take place in May 2022

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Dear colleagues, partners, friends!

It has been one and a half months since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and today we regret to inform you that the Mystetskyi Arsenal team has made an obvious yet difficult decision: the International Book Arsenal Festival will not take place in May 2022.

The brave Ukrainian people are defending the country, repulsing the enemy’s aggression on various fronts, and we all realise that we still need time for the decisive victory.

Now, in wartime, our team is working to support the publishing industry as well as the literary and artistic scene in Ukraine, and to support our community. 

These days, our activities are focused on three areas:

  • We are informing the international  book community about the Russia-Ukraine war, developing a coalition of cultural institutions to boycott Russian culture product and business, and communicating the opportunities to help victims of the war, especially migrant and displaced children, publishers, and translators.
  • In cooperation with our colleagues from Literary Laboratory, we have already implemented the final event of the Ukraine-Scotland: Collaborative Literary Project Translation in Focus: Beyond Any Curtain – adjusting it to the requirements of wartime; together with the Mystetskyi Arsenal Education Department, we have launched a teenage project Antytvir 2022; and we are also working on a number of other program ideas;
  • We have transformed Ukrainian Literature: Rights On! Project in accordance with the new conditions. Now it is aimed at distributing the catalogues of Ukrainian publishers abroad. This helps to establish and enhance cooperation with international partners and support Ukrainian publishing houses. We have managed to establish quick and effective communication with numerous book fairs all over the world. The members of our team, as a part of a working group of relevant cultural institutions, have already organised Ukraine’s participation with a manifesto stand at the Bologna Book Fair (March 21-24), as well as at the London Book Fair (April 5-7). And we keep on working!

The members of the festival team are participating in international events as guest speakers. These events include the Board Meeting of European Network for Literary Translation (ENLIT), Caucasus and Black Sea Basin Countries’ Regional Publishing Conference, etc. We are grateful to our colleagues from all over the world who offer platforms for Ukraine’s voice.

Now our activities are aimed at preserving the institution and the team, and therefore at supporting the book and its audience; we are working for our victory.

And after our victory, the team will return to the activities we love and are good at: we will organise and hold the 11th Book Arsenal, with its unique atmosphere of freedom of expression, discussions, meetings of authors and their readers, and warm hugs under the peaceful sky in the Old Arsenal yard.