Yesterday evening next meeting of Bohdan Hawrylyshyn Political School gathered together more than 70 participants. Culture and cultural diplomacy talks were most interesting, informative, emotional and in some parts even musical. The fact that the event was really useful and relevant, with our efforts fully renumerated, was proved by a very enthusiastic review written by one of our participants next day. Let us quote the review and thank its author –  Alex Ivanov – for the wonderful text!

“The debate on public policy in the field of cultural heritage and cultural diplomacy on May 30, 2016, filled the conference room of MIM-Kyiv with such notions as dialogue, cooperation, unity, tradition, self-sufficiency, love.

Austian guests – Dr. Teresa Indjein, Director General for Cultural Policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Austria), and Mrs. Hermine Poppeller, Extraordinatory and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Austria in Ukraine – shared their experience with us. In their country cooperation between cultural leaders is constantly promoted; networks which create new opportunities are built.

Culture is the key to help open doors for our country abroad as well. Cultural policy and diplomacy are based on the principles of respect for others. This is what makes it possible to understand and discover new unique phenomena that had not been familiar to us before. Europeans focus mostly on contemporary art, giving quite a moderate support to the folklore. They send young people to different countries for collecting cultural experiences and creating new trends.

Ukrainian speakers also contributed to the conversation. Mr. Danylo Lubkivsky’s main message underlined the need to make people love their homeland, nurture respect for language and literature, understand one’s needs.  It is the only way to raise self-confidence, self-sufficiency. Cultural policy of the country is impossible without a deep understanding of its roots. Foreign policy is only its derivative. It is not enoght just to have a vision for the initiatives in the field of cultural policy. Practical abilities are also required. All of us are cultural diplomats, and aside from that, whether we want it or not, we present our culture to other countries while traveling abroad.

Mr. Dmitry Kuleba said: “No matter what kind of art we demonstrate. It is important what message it carries”.

In turn, Mrs. Olesya Ostrovskaya who moderated the discussion, noted that cultural diplomacy is a dialogue on the universal level based one’s personal experience.

The scale of the issues discussed was truly absorbing. Our mentality and culture combines western rationality, materialism and pragmatics with eastern tendency to spiritual contemplation. The lyricism with strong family institution. Agriculture with Cossack tradition. Diligence, hospitality, intelligence, sense of humor, courage, deep respect for women with talant. All of it is our cultural and mental legacy which we have to understand and, based on it, build our internal cultural policy and external cultural diplomacy.

As an aesthetic dessert of the meeting, the musical performance of the duet “Two Violins” took place. Its violinists in a fairly young age have already achieved an outstanding excellence in their field on the global level.

Let me thank Bohdan Hawrylyshyn Foundation for such a remarkable intellectual event.

Dream! Learn! Act!”

Alex Ivanov, Social Health Ukraine