DnF fikk anledning til å stille noen få spørsmål til den anerkjente ukrainske lyrikeren, essayisten, oversetteren og litteraturkritikeren Ostap Slyvynsky:
– How is the war affecting you personally?
– I’m now in relatively safe place, in Lviv, Western Ukraine. There has been no shelling or bombing, though we have air raid alarms every day. Our main concern now is helping refugees, we take care of them at the railway station where they arrive from severely shelled cities, and at the shelters. We have now a sort of refugee hostel at home. Of course, we are also supporting our colleagues – writers, artists – who were forced to flee.
Les mer om Ostap Slyvynsky på Wikipedia:
– How is the war affecting the Ukraine authors community?
– Many of us have left our homes in attacked cities like Kharkiv or Kyiv, some of them – like the brilliant writer Oleksandr Mykhed – have had their homes bombed. Some of us – women and children – deciced to flee from Ukraine, we are helping them to contact the persons and institutions which are ready to host them in countries like Poland, Romania, Czech Republic, Germany, etc. A significant number of us decided to stay in our cities and joined Territorial Defence Forces, handle logistics, helping civilians wounded during shellings, etc.
– How can literature in any way affect the situation for your people?
– Literature is helpless in the situation of war. But it can remind us about our values, or just distract us a little – this is also very important. Good example is poet Andrij Bondar who keeps posting humorous verses on his Facebook-page – it’s hard to overestimate this. Literature is now more a communication tool than an aesthetic phenomenon.
– Can Norwegian writers in any way contribute to the Ukrainian writers’ cause?
– You can add your voices to important petitions, for example, a petition to NATO member states with demand of closing the sky over Ukraine:
You can start your own initiative with this demand. You can also help Ukrainian writers and artists in need financially:
http://openculture.org.pl/wsparcie-ukrainskich-dzialaczy-kultury/ (English text below).
Together we will win!