Ukraine 27th June – 5th July.
The Conference was organized by the M. Rylsky Institute of Art Studies, there Folklore and Ethnology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and International Organization of Folk Art (IOV) Science and Research Commission for Central and Eastern Europe. The scientific chairpersons of the conference were professor Larysa Vakhnina (on behalf of the Rylsky Institute, malady the chair of Ukrainian section of IOV) and professor Anna Brzozowska-Krajka from Maria Curie-Sk?odowska University in Lublin Poland (the chair of the IOV Science and Research Commission for Central and Eastern Europe).
The first meeting of the conference was held at the Rylsky Institute in Kyiv. The head of the Institute – academician, professor Ganna Skrypnyk – opened it. Carmen D. Padilla, the IOV President, on her first visit to Ukraine, presented a report on the activities and work of IOV. It included information about UNESCO conventions on preserving folk culture. Moreover, she outlined some perspectives for Ukrainian scientists in the context of European and world development. Research Associates of the Rylsky Institute – professors Vakhnina, Ihor Yudkin, Lesija Mushketyk, Oksana Mykytenko – presented papers on various aspects of the Institute’s intercultural relations and cooperation with IOV. Olga Kushniruk, Ph.D., reported on achievements of Ukrainian musicologists, particularly in the sphere of creating a Ukrainian musical encyclopedia.
The main proceedings of the conference took place in Sevastopol (Crimea) from July 1st, 2013. The opening ceremony started with welcome addresses by the head of the Rylsky Institute (professor Skrypnyk), IOV President (Carmen Padilla), IOV Executive Director for Central and Eastern Europe (professor Wies?aw Krajka), the chair of Ukrainian section of IOV and the head of Department of Art and Folklore of Foreign Countries of the Rylsky Institute (professor Larysa Vakhnina). Welcome addresses from the Secretary General of IOV (George Melvin Frandsen) and IOV Vice-president, chair of the IOV Science and Research Commission, professor Mila Santova were also read.
The conference was held at the National Museum of Heroic Defence and Liberation of Sevastopol. Over thirty scientific papers by authors from many countries – Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cyprus, Egypt, Japan, Latvia, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Spain, Turkey and Ukraine – were presented; there were also sixteen poster papers (from Bangladesh, Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, USA). Given great world-wide interest of IOV membership in the conference its initial formula of European conference was broadened by its scientific chairpersons to accommodate papers from outside Europe and on matters non-European connected with Europe. Among the presenters there were many young scientists and Ph.D. students.
During the conference some international publications of the Rylsky Institute were presented by professor Vakhnina: they deal with the folk art and ethnology of Hungary, France, Poland, Bulgaria, Israel and Japan. They aroused great interest and appreciation among colleagues from around the world. Ukrainian folklore scientists take part in the work of many international organizations and committees, including the IOV Science and Research Commission for Central and Eastern Europe.
The conference was combined with the International festival “Pontiyskaya arena” (directed by Valentyna Kolesnichenko), a part of IOV activities. The jury of the festival included professor Anna Brzozowska-Krajka, chair of the IOV Science and Research Commission for Central and Eastern Europe. The members of the conference had an opportunity to participate in various most interesting competitions, concerts and events of this festival, to see the opening ceremony and the closing concert with the awards ceremony.
The participants won’t forget their trip to the city of Bakhchisaray, where they met the major of the town and visited the museum complex “Khansky Palats” (the palace of the Crimean Khans) and the Museum of History of Crimea “Larishes.” They received memorable gifts and certificates of participation issued by the Department of Culture of the City Council of Sevastopol.
This scientific IOV event, which was held in Ukraine for the first time, will be of great importance not only to Ukraine’s positive image in the world but also to the growth of interest in its folk art and culture, and to solving problems connected with preserving its cultural heritage. It was rather symbolic that just a day before the conference was held, the museum complex of Chersonesus in Crimea was included in the list of UNESCO protected objects.
During the conference a meeting of the IOV Science and Research Commission for Central and Eastern Europe was held, with participation of the IOV President and the IOV Executive Director for Central and Eastern Europe. The participants discussed plans and forms of further activity of this Commission pertaining to folk culture in the Region.
In the closing speech, the IOV President underlined the fact that the main role of IOV is to increase mutual understanding among people and nations, to encourage interest in the folk art of many countries around the world in the present era of globalization and cultural unification. Ukraine and Crimea were a true discovery for most participants of the conference as a land of people highly conscious culturally, at the crossroads of different cultures and nationalities, a unique oasis for future generations.
Larysa Vakhnina, Ivanna Tserkovniak