Katja Kolcio, chair and associate professor of dance, associate professor of environmental studies, writes in The Huffington Post about how the arts have been critical in defining Ukrainian sovereignty over the centuries.
In Ukraine’s long history, political sovereignty has existed only for three brief time periods, while the country has spent most of its existence under control of the Mongol, Polish, Lithuanian, Russian, Ottoman, Austrian and German Empires.
Yet, Kolcio writes, “Despite the absence of political sovereignty, a distinctly Ukrainian sensibility was preserved in the graphic designs of folk arts, in the philosophical words of poets, and in the historical lyrics sung by kobzari, members of a guild for blind bards. For most of the 20th century, artists fueled the social consciousness and dignity of people de-individualized under Soviet regime, despite the dire consequences they faced.”
Read more here.