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Ukraine/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.7 Intercultural dialogue: actors, strategies, programmes

In April 2010, the Ministry of Culture and Development Centre "Democracy through Culture", with assistance of the Council of Europe, prepared and published the Ukrainian version of the White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue "Living Together as Equals in Dignity".

The Ministry of Culture, jointly with the Development Centre "Democracy through Culture" and the Council of Europe conducted a set of seminars in 2012 for Ukrainian cultural administrators on the regional and local level to introduce practical recommendations of the White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue into current policies (see also chapter 3.4.1). The training course ran from March to November 2012 and consisted of three workshops dedicated to the following topics: Democratic citizenship and participation; Role of culture and education in learning intercultural competences; Spaces for intercultural dialogue. All participants received special certificates from a pool of intercultural dialogue experts in Ukraine.

The All-Ukrainian Forum of national cultures, "We All Are Your Children, Ukraine", was initiated in 1988. The Forum takes place once every two years within the framework of the artistic project "Ukraine is Open to the World" and is supported by the Board of National Societies of Ukraine and the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine. The purpose of this project is to promote cultures from different nations and nationalities living in Ukraine. The Forum displays the creative work of professional, folk and amateur artists, collectives and groups.

The following private actors operate successfully in the field of intercultural dialogue: New Music Association (Odessa), Arabesque Theatre Studio (Kharkiv), Association of Art Galleries (Kyiv), Development Centre "Democracy through Culture" (Kyiv), Theatre Pechersk (Kyiv), Theatre "Drabyna" (Lviv), the Centre of Contemporary Art (Kyiv), Art Centre "Dzyga" (Lviv), Centre for Youth initiatives "Totem" (Kherson), Centre for Cultural Management (Lviv), Donetsk city youth centre of arts "EkoArt", NGO "Art Travel", Art Gisheft (Ivano-Frankivsk), Congress of Culture Activists (Kyiv) and other organisations.

Examples of Good Practice

In June 2014, a seminar on "Project-oriented governance: intercultural partnership" was held in Melitopol, jointly organised by the Development Centre "Democracy through Culture" and the local authorities within the framework of the Intercultural Cities (ICC) Programme in Ukraine. The event focused on the practice of intercultural partnerships, in particular, the involvement of intercultural businesses and sponsors in cultural and social activities. One of the best examples in Melitopol is the Intercultural Museum at the ethnographic Karaite centre "Kale".

This museum was founded as an initiative of a local entrepreneur and patron, member of the Karaite community, Yuriy Makarov (Arabadjee), who financed the building and museum design. The museum is located in a three-storey building, on the second floor. The first and the third floors are occupied by a café-restaurant of the national Karaite cuisine "Chir-Chir". Here one can taste various Karaite dishes as well as dishes from other national cultures. The Café organises days of national cuisines when visitors can learn about cookery and culture of other nations – Ukrainians, Russians, Bulgarians, Tartars, Armenians, and so on. To date, more than 90 different nationalities live in Melitopol, a city located on the border with Crimea, with a population of 157 thousand inhabitants.

The permanent displays of the Intercultural Museum in Melitopol present the story of Karaites who now only account for approximately 2000 persons in the world. 53 representatives of this ethnic group presently live in Melitopol. One of the central exposition stands is dedicated to the evolution of Melitopol as an intercultural city from its first participation in the ICC Programme in 2008 up to the present. Other museum pieces provide information about various national and cultural associations active in the city: Bulgarian, Jewish, German, Belorussian, Crimean, Tartar, Czech, Polish, Greek, etc.

The Intercultural Museum also works as a communication space: three long tables at the centre of the museum can be used by any group of diverse origins for their meetings or events. The Museum provides coffee, tea or sweets free of charge.

The Intercultural Museum in Melitopol closely cooperates with the local university researching intercultural policies and global approaches. The Museum invites all intercultural cities to submit information about their realities with present day stories on today's European values, perspectives and challenges.

Olena Arabadjee,

associated professor of Melitopol State Pedagogical University named after B. Khelnytsky, Ph.D. in geography, member of local Karaite association

Additional Resources:

Database of Good Practice on Intercultural Dialogue

Key Resources

Chapter published: 05-06-2015

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