Cultural exchange in Chernivtsi: Germany considers Ukrainian city of Chernivtsi as one of the literary capitals of the 20th century
Opinion15:20 Sep. 9, 2016

Germany considers Ukrainian city of Chernivtsi as one of the literary capitals of the 20th century

'Meridian Czernowitz' poetry festival will kick off in Chernivtsi today, September 9

UT sits down with Ihor Pomerantsev, writer, broadcaster and one of the founders of the poetry festival 'Meridian Czernowitz', to talk about the upcoming festival and the role of cultural events, which take place in Ukraine.

The festival features not only poetry reading, but also intense discussions, specifically about cultural interaction amongst nations. On answering about 'Meridian Czernowitz' in the context of Ukraine's cultural diplomacy, Ihor Pomerantsev said the following:

"A lot depends on people. And I think that most of Ukrainian writers, who will attend Chernivtsi, have already joined the EU many years ago, psychologically and mentally. What we are doing on a spiritual level, unlike the physical state, are members of the literary community and we influence cultural and intellectual climate (in Europe), and the state should follow us".

Read more: Meridian Czernowitz: Ukraine to witness Europe's poetry elite

Take into account Chernivtsi was a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and it produced many German speaking bards, the mission nowadays seems a logical step, uniting German speakers, mainly from Germany, Switzerland and Austria, and the Ukrainian speaking poets.

"Usually, in Germany poets gather a maximum of 20 fans, but in Chernivtsi it's actually groups of students that attend. Hundreds of students visit our performances and readings. And it's great to see how German poets feel when their social status grows after readings. They feel moved, appreciated. And it's probably the only literary festival, which pays fees to foreign guests. They never expect it because they think they come to a poor country. But when they turn up, it turns out to be a luxurious place", Pomerantsev said.

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