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.

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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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