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Funding project to strengthen cooperation between German and Ukrainian book industries

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Germany’s Minister of State for Culture and the Media to support cultural projects, in particular, the program activities of the Mystetskyi Arsenal

A new funding project is being set up to support the Ukrainian book trade and foster deeper exchange between the Ukrainian and German cultural sectors. Germany’s Minister of State for Culture and the Media, Claudia Roth, has earmarked €900,000 for the endeavor, which comprises a series of individual projects aimed at fostering the work of Ukrainian authors, publishers and media professionals as well as promoting wider acquaintance with Ukrainian culture and history in Germany. The German Publishers and Booksellers Association will head up the project, working in close cooperation with the Frankfurt Book Fair, the Ukrainian Book Institute, the cultural institution Mystetskyi Arsenal, the online literary and cultural magazine Chytomo and the Goethe Institute Ukraine.

With its war of aggression against Ukraine, Russia is also systematically waging war against Ukrainian culture and social identity. We see this whenever and wherever Russian aggression is specifically directed against libraries, printing houses and other institutions associated with literature. It is almost impossible for publishers to work under such conditions, and the public’s access to books in general is also made extremely difficult. This makes our project in service of a stronger exchange between the German and Ukrainian book industries all the more important. Each partner to the project, which will be headed up by the German Publishers and Booksellers Association, will contribute key momentum to the joint effort to safeguard the shattered literary landscape in Ukraine. At the same time, these partners will also be contributing to a deeper understanding of Ukrainian culture and literature here in Germany. The federal government is doing its utmost to support Ukraine in this regard

— Claudia Roth, Germany’s Minister of State for Culture and the Media, stated the following with regard to the project.

As representatives of the German book trade, we are eager to show solidarity with our Ukrainian colleagues and mitigate the devastating effects of war on arts and literary communities wherever possible. We thank Minister Roth for providing this vital support alongside many other partners. The forthcoming projects will encourage us to learn more from each other, as well as to learn more about each other. The projects will also help to make German literature more widely known in Ukraine and Ukrainian literature more widely known in Germany. This is an important building block in efforts to rebuild the publishing and book-industry landscape in Ukraine

— Peter Kraus vom Cleff, Managing Director of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association, added.

Given the conditions caused by Russia’s full-scale military aggression against Ukraine, I cannot overestimate the importance of support for the Ukrainian book industry within the framework of cultural cooperation. I am especially grateful for the collection of books by prominent German authors that will be made available to our public libraries, but also for the active inclusion of Ukrainian authors at leading German cultural events and support for the Ukrainian book trade at the Frankfurt Book Fair. All of these opportunities provided to Ukrainian literature help to strengthen the voice of Ukrainian culture in Europe. This is something that is especially vital to all Ukrainians at the present time

— Oleksandra Koval, Director of the Ukrainian Book Institute, said the following in response.

Among the activities set to receive support are the following: enhancing the collection of German literature held by Ukrainian libraries, inviting Ukrainian authors to speak at German bookshops and other literary venues, a new “Ukrainian Publishing Prize”, an English-language online platform for literature from Ukraine and other countries in the region, and the spotlighting of Ukraine at the Frankfurt Book Fair. The funding period is scheduled to run until June 2024.  Several different partners involved in realizing projects, and we thank them for this initiative!