For the second time during Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the team of the Mystetskyi Arsenal prepares Book Arsenal, which will combine artistic and literary components, meetings with writers, publishers, poetry evenings and many other book-related events.
Olesia Ostrovska-Liuta, the Director General of the Mystetskyi Arsenal:
“Our team is sure that culture helps form the international coalition in support of Ukraine. However, this is not the only point. From recent history, we know perfectly well where the annihilation of cultural life leads to: the decline of original thought, the loss of political subjectness, the transformation of a suffered tragedy into a devastating trauma. We, Ukrainians, cannot afford this. We cannot afford to stop comprehending our reality, creating the new, experimenting with ideas and forms—doing all those things which are culture.
Book Arsenal does exactly that—it creates the stimulating environment in which something new and important is born, where the difficult is discussed and the painful is healed. Therefore, we will do everything in our power for the festival to be held in the best possible way this year.”
This year, the 12th International Book Arsenal Festival will be held from May 30 (the evening of the official opening) to June 2. The festival will consist of the program component and the book fair, which will take place on the first floor of the Old Arsenal building.
Both separate publishing houses and bookstores are invited to be sales operators of books that will present books in the sections Art Books, Fiction, Non-fiction, Books for Kids and Teens , Comics and Graphic.
Of course the focus of Book Arsenal will be on the books about the war published after 2014, the editions produced by war veterans, members of their families. In addition to the fair at the publishers’ stands, they will be presented separately in the space New Titles.
The program of this year’s Book Arsenal, curated by invited experts, will include events within the focus theme of the festival, the Literature Program, the Kids and Teens Program, the Special Program from PEN Ukraine, professional events for publishers. Book Arsenal will host the guest Literary Festival The Fifth Kharkiv with a special program. This will be the program in collaboration with and curated by the Kharkiv Literary Museum. Lectures, discussions, performances and poetry readings will take place on five stages of the festival. Exhibition art projects from contemporary artists will also become an important voice during Book Arsenal.
For the safety of the participants of the fair and the events the simplest bomb shelter is available in the Mystetskyi Arsenal.
Book Arsenal starts accepting applications for participation in the fair. The deadline is February 29, 2024.
By March 22, 2024, all applicants will have received answers about the selection results to the email addresses specified in the applications.
Book Arsenal is an international event organized by the Mystetskyi Arsenal. The festival has been held since 2011, and has become one of the most influential literary and artistic events in Eastern Europe. In 2019, it won The Literary Festival Award of the International Excellence Awards. The mission of the International Book Arsenal Festival is to create such interactions between people, communities, institutions when the combination of aesthetic experience and intellectual inclusion in the context of a book strengthens the capacity of a person and society.
Book Arsenal is organized in cooperation with Art Arsenal Community NGO. This project is supported by Partnership Fund for Resilient Ukraine (PFRU), funded by aid from the governments of the United Kingdom, Canada, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States.
Book Arsenal – 2024 is also held with the financial support of the Ministry of State for Culture and the Media of Germany within the project Exchange between German and Ukrainian Literary and Book Sectors.