On September 15th at 7pm, the Ukrainian Club of Berkeley is partnering with the AI for Good Foundation to host a special dinner event in support of Ukraine’s heritage.
Berkeley, California Aug 30, 2023 (Issuewire.com) – On September 15th at 7pm, the Ukrainian Club of Berkeley is partnering with the AI for Good Foundation to host a special dinner event in support of Ukraine’s heritage. The event will present Svidok.org (‘witness’ in Ukrainian), the largest archive of war experiences from Ukraine, partnered with Ukraine’s Ministry of Culture and every regional government.
Date: September 15th, 7-10 pm PST
Address: Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, Spieker Forum, 6th floor Chou Hall
A year and a half of full-scale war. More than nine years of Russian invasion. Four centuries of continuous attempts by the Russian empire to erase Ukrainian identity. From prohibiting the Ukrainian language to burning books and killing writers and artists, Russia is attempting to destroy Ukrainian culture. Yet, today Ukraine stands and fights – not only for itself but for international law and prosperity.
“Russia is committing a multi-faceted genocide in Ukraine. They are systematically destroying Ukrainian people, from killing civilians to abducting children. The Russians have destroyed over 50% of vital civilian infrastructure in Ukraine. And they are also destroying Ukrainian heritage: churches, galleries, museums, educational institutions,” says Julia Daviy-Berezovska, the President of the Ukrainian Club of Berkeley.
Svidok.org collects the stories of Ukrainians who share their experiences, losses and coping strategies. Many are children and teenagers, sharing their fears and perseverance, in a harrowing mirror of Anne Frank’s diary from World War II. Others are young mothers giving birth to new life amid the death and destruction of war. Many recount their personal experiences with Russia’s destruction of historical sites and share their personal struggles to keep art and culture alive amid Russia’s barrage of destruction.
“The cathedral in the center of Odesa has a special meaning for every resident of the city. My parents got married here, as did many other couples in love. Large and incredibly beautiful, the cathedral has always attracted tourists. But on the night of July 23, Russia struck the center of Odesa, damaging the cathedral and a dozen other architectural monuments of Odesa, all protected by UNESCO. Do you remember how much grief and anxiety people felt after the fire in Notre Dame de Paris? And yet, few have paid as much attention to the cathedral in Odesa – although this tragedy was caused not by a natural disaster, but by a direct barbaric attack on the culture of Ukraine,” shares a young girl in Odesa, Ukraine.
Some day these individual stories may become parts of books and movies, but today Ukrainians need help to win the war and to start rebuilding their country. An Evening to Defend Ukraine’s Cultural Heritage will auction Ukrainian artworks – original paintings by renowned Ukrainian artists including Kateryna Kryvolap, handmade centrepiece tapestries, artwork by wounded soldiers undergoing rehabilitation, and rare artifacts refurbished from the battlefield. The money raised will support expansion of the Svidok initiative and provide critical medicine to Ukraine’s frontline cities. The artworks are also available at the online auction: https://go.rallyup.com/ukraine-culture.
“The goal of Svidok is to capture Ukrainians’ lived experiences of the war. We collaborate with the International Criminal Court and the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine to share evidence of war crimes. But just as importantly, we offer a safe space for Ukrainians to record their feelings and experiences. Some share personal tragedies, some offer stories of resilience, and some even write poetry from occupation. We believe that every Ukrainian has a voice and a story worth sharing,” says Anastassia Fedyk, who is a professor at UC Berkeley and the organiser of the evening.
Svidok content has previously been presented in the United States Senate and the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in New York. The exhibit is coming to California for the first time on September 15. The event will feature special remarks from the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine.
About the AI for Good Foundation: Empower Ukraine is an initiative of the AI for Good Foundation (a US-based 501(c)(3)) and its Ukrainian branch, the My Syla Charitable Foundation. Together, we support economic and community resilience in Ukraine, protect cultural heritage, support war crimes investigations, develop sanctions recommendations for allied governments, and reimagine the future of Ukraine for Ukrainians, today. The AI for Good Foundation is active around the world, building economic and community resilience through technology, putting humans first, and helping governments and civil society to effectively navigate the accelerating tides of emerging technologies. Find out more at https://ai4good.org/ukraine.
About the Ukrainian Club of Berkeley: The Club unites members of the UC Berkeley community who stand with Ukraine, those who want to learn more about Ukraine’s history and culture, or those who identifies her/himself as Ukrainian. Our mission centers on protecting the Ukrainian identity, people, civilization, culture, and history, reimagining and rebuilding Ukraine, and enriching and preserving the world’s civilization. Find out more at https://callink.berkeley.edu/organization/ukrainianclubofberkeley.
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