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Admission is free. Reservations required. RSVP beginning Monday, February 3, at 10 a.m.

Join us for a stirring conversation about the arts in contemporary Ukraine—and about displacement, loss, and cultural resilience in times of war. Kyiv- and London-based essayist Sasha Dovzhyk, Halych-born and Santa Monica–based artist Marina Malyarenko, Lviv-based poet and author of A Field of Foundlings Iryna Starovoyt, and UCSD professor Amelia Glaser (moderator) will gather to discuss how Ukrainian artists and writers have helped shape independent, multicultural national identities, from the collapse of the Soviet Union to the Maidan protests of 2013–14, and through Russia’s invasion of eastern Ukraine in 2014 and full-scale war beginning in 2022. Traditional Petrykivka artworks by Malyarenko will be on display. Dovzhyk and Starovoyt—members of PEN Ukraine—will read from their works. 

The panel will be preceded by hands-on workshops by Dovzhyk, Malyarenko, and Starovoyt, giving attendees a chance to meet and learn from them firsthand.


Sasha Dovzhyk is a Ukrainian writer, editor, and cultural manager. She holds a PhD in English and comparative literature from Birkbeck, and has taught at Birkbeck and UCL SSEES, worked as a special projects curator at the Ukrainian Institute London, and edited three books. Her writing has also appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, Guardian, New Lines, Index of Censorship, CNN, and others. She edits the London Ukrainian Review. Having lived in London for nine years, she has recently moved back to Ukraine to help set up INDEX: Institute for Documentation and Exchange. 

Iryna Starovoyt is a poet, essayist, humanist, associate professor of cultural studies at the Ukrainian Catholic University, and recurrent visiting fellow at St. John’s College, Oxford. A member of PEN Ukraine and PEN International Writers for Peace Committee, she has authored three volumes of poetry. A Field of Foundlings is her bilingual book, published in the U.S. and translated by Grace Mahoney. Starovoyt's poetry has been anthologized, translated into several languages, set to music, embroidered on canvas in Lithuania, and fired in ceramics. She is on the board of the annual Lviv Book Forum, Culture Congress, Drahomán Prize, Light of Justice Award, and Women in Arts Prize, and served as the head of the jury for the transnational literary prize UNESCO's City of Literature, based in Lviv since its inception. 

Marina Malyarenko was born in Halych, an ancient city in western Ukraine full of medieval ruins and prehistoric artifacts reclaimed by nature, and based in Santa Monica. Early in her life, Malyarenko learned the craft of Petrykivka, a traditional Ukrainian folk art decorative technique that originated several hundred years ago. The distinctive technique involves painting flower designs on the walls of houses in central Ukraine. Malyarenko has said, “I use the same traditional technique and tools to paint my modern interpretation of this art form... I put my heart and soul, symbols, and ideas into my drawings, believing that this energy will warm and protect those who have a piece of that love in their homes.” 

Amelia Glaser is a professor of Slavic and comparative literature at the University of California, San Diego, where she also holds an endowed chair in Judaic studies. She is the author of Jews and Ukrainians in Russia’s Literary Borderlands and Songs in Dark Times: Yiddish Poetry of Struggle from Scottsboro to Palestine. She is the editor of Stories of Khmelnytsky: Competing Literary Legacies of the 1648 Ukrainian Cossack Uprising and, with Steven Lee, Comintern Aesthetics. She is a translator of poetry from, primarily, Ukrainian, Yiddish, and Russian. She is the co-translator, with Yuliya Ilchuk, of Halyna Kruk’s A Crash Course in Molotov Cocktails, which was shortlisted for the 2024 Griffin Poetry Prize. She is the curator of the Contemporary Ukrainian Poetry Archive, and is writing a book about Ukrainian poetry since 2014.

Related event:

Voices of Freedom, Voices of War: Creative Workshops
Wednesday, March 5, 2025, from 5 to 6:30 p.m.
Doheny Memorial Library, Second Floor
For more info, click HERE.

Presented by USC Visions and Voices. Organized by Robert Labaree (USC Libraries), Sophie Lesinska (USC Libraries), Colleen McQuillen (Slavic Languages and Literatures), Kelsey Rubin-Detlev (Slavic Languages and Literatures), and Andy Rutkowski (USC Libraries). 

Art courtesy of Marina Malyarenko.

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