Strengthening national narratives, working with the advantages and weaknesses of Ukrainian self-perception: Aspen Institute Kyiv Involved Leaders in an Impartial Dialogue on Ukrainian Identity

On December 4, the ninth Dialogue on Identity seminar within the Reinventing Ukrainian Identity Project took place. Aspen Institute Kyiv involved leaders of Ukrainian society in dialogue on Ukrainian identity, national narratives, and working with the advantages and weaknesses of Ukrainian self-perception.

— The issue of Ukrainian national identity is becoming increasingly important. Currently, we are dealing with many divisive discourses that atomize society and lead to conflicts in some cases. Aspen Institute Kyiv created a platform for dialogue between leaders to understand the values ​​of national identity, develop a diversity of values ​​and lifestyles awareness, and strengthen the basis of an inclusive political nation, — said Olena Fomina, Head of Aspen Institute Kyiv National Identity Program.

Here are some of the dialogue issues:

  • How to treat historical figures with Ukrainian roots, but with an imperial ideology? Should we expand the “we” concept and recognize them as a part of our culture? What kind of appropriation strategy should be in that case?
  • How to stop focusing on the pessimistic aspects of your history and start realizing and discussing our successes?
  • “A country of small horizons”, “short runs”, and “a country of startups” are these our advantages or should we learn about long-term strategic planning?
  • How can Ukrainian cross-culturalism help Europe?

The seminar was moderated by Anton Drobovych, Chairman of the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory, and Orysia Demska, Chair of the National Commission on State Language Standards.

The project was initiated by the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine and implemented with the support of the European Union.