Antytvir is a competition for teenagers that is usually held within the International Book Arsenal Festival, and the award ceremony usually takes place in the Mystetskyi Arsenal building.
In 2022, the 11th Book Arsenal was cancelled due to the full-scale war of Russia against Ukraine, but despite everything, the organizers managed to hold the Antytvir project, because now it is more important than ever for teenagers to share their stories and experiences. The team received good feedback: 106 applications with incredibly insightful and sincere works.
The format changed: this year the Antytvir was not a competition, but a project for students in grades 8-11, and all the works that passed the technical selection — literary and graphic, in Ukrainian and in English — were accepted and published. The participants were also invited to join a special educational program that consisted of online meetings and workshops in order to provide support (including psychological) and to create a community of young artists.
The theme of Antytvir-2022 is “At the Threshold”. Participants thought about:
- forced displacement;
- destruction of some values and construction of new ones;
- what values become apparent on the verge — where two worlds collide;
- what helps and what hinders us from winning, internally and externally;
- shared what it’s like to be a teenager and grow up in a war.
Read more about the theme of Antytvir-2022 here.
The educational program symbolically took place within the dates of the 11th Book Arsenal, which was supposed to be held from May 25 to 29, 2022, and the finale of the project was on the last scheduled day of the Festival. The Antytvir works can be viewed on the website. All the works are presented without any editing by the organizers.
Within the educational program:
- On May 25, an introductory Zoom-session was held between the participants and the organizers of the project, as well as a lecture “Write Ukraineness: Creative Writing” by Oksana Lushchevska, a children’s writer, translator, publicist, researcher of children’s and adolescent literature;
- On May 26, a moderated Zoom-talk was held, called “Impossibility as an Opportunity” by Mark Livin, a contemporary Ukrainian writer and journalist;
- On May 27, the teenagers met in Zoom for a talk about “Revaluation of values: how to not lose but to support yourself in times of change” and for the exercises by a psychologist Diana Zhytnia-Kebas;
- On May 28, a workshop was held in Zoom, called “A Text that Touches: How to Work with Emotions” in Zoom by Olha Rusina, an author of books for children and adolescents, journalist, translator;
- On May 29, the teenagers met in Zoom for a workshop by an artist Kateryna Buchatska, and for the final meeting, where they had the opportunity to share their impressions and emotions from the educational program.
The participants of the project were also offered to record and send a video where they are reading a favourite sentence from their text or describing in one sentence what their picture / illustration is about.
The project was financially supported by:
- the International Relief Fund for Organisations in Culture and Education 2021 of the German Federal Foreign Office, the Goethe-Institut, and other partners;
- Goethe-Institut and Kulturstiftung des Bundes under the emergency stipend program for employees of partner institutions and artists that worked directly together with them;
- private persons — Julie Cowie, Molly McLogan, Paula Pritula, Susan Proctor, Karolin Ravens, and Reema.
The project was also informationally supported by Osvitoria, an online media on education and upbringing of children in Ukraine.