Lviv BookForum 2022

Lviv BookForum will take place 6–9 October with all events available free to view here. Mixing acclaimed Ukrainian writers with world-renowned literary figures, the co-curated programme will share essential stories and facilitate a global conversation around the biggest questions of our time. Part of the UK/Ukraine Season of Culture devised jointly by the British Council and the Ukrainian Institute, the full programme is listed below.

Event 1

Events taking place live online 6–9 October 2022

Henry Marsh, Rachel Clarke, Yurii Prokhasko, Andrii Myzak and Iryna Tsybukh in conversation

Love and Loss

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Russia started the conflict in Ukraine in 2014 with the annexation of Crimea, and continues its war of aggression on the Ukrainian people. Countless families have lost their nearest and dearest. This event explores the experience and effects of love and loss.

Neurosurgeon Henry Marsh has worked for 30 years with colleagues in Ukraine and is helping doctors there to treat cases of trauma. His new book is And Finally: Matters of Life and Death. Rachel Clarke is an NHS palliative care doctor and author of Breathtaking, about life on the frontline during the first wave of the pandemic, and Dear Life, about her life in a hospice. Yurii Prokhasko is a literary critic-Germanist, translator, publicist, essayist and psychoanalyst who works at the Ivan Franko Institute in Lviv. Andrii Myzak is a neurosurgeon, and has translated into Ukranian Do no Harm by Henry Marsh and Dear Life by Rachel Clarke. Iryna Tsybukh is a teacher of media education at Youth MediaLab, is the author of Adviser for Young Journalists, and is a combat Medic at Hospitallers Paramedics.

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Event 2

Events taking place live online 6–9 October 2022

Emma Graham-Harrison, Lydia Cacho, Diana Berg, Yaryna Chornohuz and Janine di Giovanni

Women and War

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Ukraine has been built by women. In the post-Soviet era, alcoholism and early death rates for men meant that women were the backbone of families and the economy. The Ukrainian army now has more women in it than any other except Israel. How will the war affect the struggle for women’s equality?

Emma Graham-Harrison is the Guardian's senior international correspondent. Lydia Cacho is a Mexican journalist, feminist, and human rights activist. Diana Berg is a Ukrainian activist, founder of Mariupol Art-Platform Tiu and organiser of the movement Donetsk is Ukraine. Yaryina Chornohuz is a poet military servicewoman and author of the collection How the Military Circle Bends. Janine di Giovanni is the co-Founder and Director of The Reckoning Project: Ukraine Testifies, a USAID-supported organization that documents and verifies war crimes and builds cases for international justice mechanisms.

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Event 3

Events taking place live online 6–9 October 2022

Elif Shafak (digital) talks to Charlotte Higgins

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The Turkish-British novelist, author of 19 books including The Island of Missing Trees and Booker-shortlisted 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World, is an advocate for women's rights and freedom of speech. She talks to Charlotte Higgins, The Guardian's chief culture writer.

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Elif Shafak (digital) talks to Charlotte Higgins

Event 4

Events taking place live online 6–9 October 2022

Diana Berg, Ostap Slyvynsky, Artem Polezhaka and Emma Graham-Harrison

Art in times of conflict

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From Picasso’s Guernica and Wilfred Owen’s poetry to the war rugs made by Afghani artisans, war has given rise to some of the most profound art we possess. In a world where social media rules, is there still a need for war art? What forms of expression has this conflict and others around the world created and how have social influencers responded?

Three Ukrainian artists – Diana Berg, designer and activist; Ostap Slyvynsk essayist, translator and poet, and Artem Polezhaka, poet-slammer singer and showman – talk to Emma Graham-Harrison, the Guardian’s senior international correspondent.

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Event 5

Events taking place live online 6–9 October 2022

Neil Gaiman and Yuval Noah Harari talk to Sevgil Musayeva (digital event)

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The Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari, author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind and the children’s book Unstoppable Us talks to the English writer of science fiction, comics and screenplays. Chaired by Sevgil Musayeva, editor-in-chief of Ukrayinska Pravda.

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Event 6

Events taking place live online 6–9 October 2022

Volodymyr Yermolenko, Philippe Sands, Tetyana Oharkova, Misha Glenny and Pavlo Kazarin

The idea of Europe

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Co-hosted with the Institute of Human Sciences (IWM), Vienna, this event explores how the war has changed people’s concept of Europe. How have the boundaries of Europe been defined previously – geographically, religiously, politically? Can we ever see Russia as a European country once again?

Volodymyr Yermolenko is a philosopher and editor of Ukraine World, an English-language news outlet. Philippe Sands is an international human rights lawyer and author of East West Street: On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes against Humanity. Tetyana Oharkova is a Ukrainian literary scholar, journalist and essayist. Pavlo Kazarin is a journalit, publicist and philologist-literary critic, author of Wild West of Eastern Europe. Chaired by Misha Glenny, British journalist and IWM Rector, author of McMafia and known for his focus on global crime.

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Event 7

Events taking place live online 6–9 October 2022

Lydia Cacho, Abdulrazak Gurnah (digital), Ihor Pomerantsev, Olena Stiazhkina, Dmytro Krapyvenko and Jon Lee Anderson

Imperialism and identity

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The experience of colonialism has shaped and even forged the national identities of countries all over the world. What can we learn about the post-colonial experience from the historical experiences of Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East? Is there a form of post-colonial solidarity with Ukraine?

Olena Stiazhkina is a Ukrainian historian and former professor of history at Donetsk National University. Abdulrazak Gurnah is a Tanzanian-British novelist and academic, winner of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature. Lydia Cacho is a Mexican journalist, feminist and human rights activist. Ihor Pomerantsev is a poet and playwright. Dmytro Krapyvenko is a journalist and publicist. Chaired by the American biographer, war correspondent and staff writer for The New Yorker, Jon Lee Anderson.

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Event 8

Events taking place live online 6–9 October 2022

Bruno Macaes, Philippe Sands, Liuba Tsybulska, Andrii Shapovalov, Maksym Skubenko, Emma Winberg and Peter Pomerantsev

Propaganda

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Writers obsess with the power of words, but do words change anything? Or does poetry, in WH Auden’s phrase, make nothing happen? Across the world we see unprecedented amounts of propaganda aimed at destroying people’s lives. Propagandists usually hide behind ‘freedom of speech’ and the legal idea that ‘speech has no victim’. But what happens when, for example, Russian propagandists become an integral part of a military machine committing war crimes and even genocide? Are they aiding and abetting crimes against humanity, and can that be proven in a court of law? The panel explores the question of legal accountability for Russian state and other propagandists – and what words really do.

Bruno Maçães is a Portuguese politician and columnist for The New Statesman. Philippe Sands is an international human rights lawyer and author. Emma Winberg co-founded the White Helmets volunteer organisation in Syria. Liuba Tsybulska is head of the Hybrid Warfare Analytical Group of Ukraine Crisis Media Center. Andrii Shapovalov is a professional journalist and media manager. Maksym Skubenko is the CEO of Vox Ukraine media. Chaired by Peter Pomerantsev, author of This Is Not Propaganda.

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Event 9

Events taking place live online 6–9 October 2022

Iaroslav Hrytsak, Margaret MacMillan (digital) and Serhii Plokhy (digital)

Hope, Humanity and War

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Among the horrors of war, does Ukraine have reason to be optimistic about the future? What are the positives that may emerge for the people of Ukraine on the other side of the war?

Margaret MacMillan is a Canadian historian and professor at the University of Oxford. Serhii Plokhy is a Ukrainian historian, author of The Last Empire: The Final Days of the Soviet Union. Iaroslav Hrytsak is a Ukrainian historian and director of the Institute for Historical Studies of Ivan Franko National University of Lviv.

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Event 10

Events taking place live online 6–9 October 2022

Stanislav Aseyev, Natalia Gumenyuk, Jonathan Littell, Masi Nayyem, Philippe Sands and Andrii Kulykov

War Crimes and Memory

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Ukraine and Syria are the first large-scale conflicts not only to be documented on social media but where social media is a theatre of war. In the same way that TV transformed the dynamics of Vietnam, social media will shape the experience of this war and its outcome. Will the ubiquity of social media result in accountability for wartimes? Will it hamper people’s ability to forget and one day even forgive?

Philippe Sands is an international human rights lawyer and author. Natalia Gumenyuk is a Ukrainian journalist specialising in conflict reporting. Stanislav Aseyev is a Ukrainian writer and journalist in Donetsk. Jonathan Littell is an Franco-American novelist and journalist who has worked with Médecins Sans Frontières. Masi Nayyem is a Ukranian lawyer and founder of the Miller legal company. Chaired by Andrii Kulykov, a Ukrainian journalist and radio presenter.

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Event 11

Events taking place live online 6–9 October 2022

Margaret Atwood (digital) talks to Yurii Prokhasko

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Canadian novelist and poet Margaret Atwood, twice winner of the Booker Prize, talks to the Ukrainian literary critic and translator Yurii Prokhasko.

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Event 12

Events taking place live online 6–9 October 2022

Catherine Belton (digital), Oliver Bullough, Misha Glenny and Vadym Karpiak

Money and culture: how cultural institutions became Russia's offshore

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The Pandora Papers were the biggest ever leak of offshore data concerning the financial secrets of the rich and powerful, chiefly concerning property acquisition. But can cultural institutions work as offshore companies, and to what extent is Russian capital present in cultural institutions and activities abroad? British journalists Misha Glenny, Oliver Bullough and Catherine Belton are authors of, respectively, McMafia; Butler to the World: How Britain became the servant of tycoons, tax dodgers, kleptocrats and criminals; and Putin's People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and Then Took On the West. Chaired by the TV presenter and Speaker of the Ukrainian Women's Congress Vadym Karpiak.

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Event 13

Events taking place live online 6–9 October 2022

Philippe Sands talks to Victoria Amelina

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The international human rights lawyer and author of East West Street, The Ratline and The Last Colony talks about his work and ideas about justice and criminality that have their origins in the city of Lviv to the novelist Victoria Amelina.

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Philippe Sands talks to Victoria Amelina

Event 14

Events taking place live online 6–9 October 2022

Victoria Amelina, Jon Lee Anderson, Michael Katakis, Janine di Giovanni and Tetyana Oharkova

The Role of Journalists and Writers in War

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Ernest Hemingway was one of the first writers to live in and write about a country at war, using his experiences as a reporter during the civil war in Spain as the background to For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940). How has the role of writers and journalists changed during the current war and what choices did Ukrainian writers make after Russia initiated it in 2014 by annexing Crimea? American writer and photographer Michael Katakis manages Ernest Hemingway's literary estate. Victoria Amelina is a novelist and activist, a winner of the Joseph Conrad Literary Award. Jon Lee Anderson is an American biographer, war correspondent and staff writer for The New Yorker. Janine di Giovanni is the co-Founder and Director of The Reckoning Project: Ukraine Testifies, a USAID-supported organization that documents and verifies war crimes and builds cases for international justice mechanisms. Chaired by Tetyana Oharkova, a Ukrainian literary scholar, journalist and essayist.

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Event 15

Events taking place live online 6–9 October 2022

Abdulrazak Gurnah (digital) talks to Alim Aliev

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The Tanzanian-British author, winner of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature, in conversation with the Ukrainian writer and decolonisation specialist.

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Abdulrazak Gurnah (digital) talks to Alim Aliev
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Open Society Foundations
British Council
Ukrainian Institute
UK Ukraine Season
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