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31 October 2014

The Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) International Committee for the Commemoration of the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Taras Shevchenko and the UWC International Scholarly Council held an academic conference titled “Taras Shevchenko and the Ukrainian Weltanschauung” on 24 October 2014 at the Ukrainian Museum in New York, U.S.A.
Greetings to conference participants were extended by UWC President Eugene Czolij and Conference Coordinator, Chair of the UWC International Scholarly Council Dr. Walter Zaryckyj.
Two sessions, Divining the Great Bard’s influence and Contemplating the Great Bard’s message, examined the influence of Taras Shevchenko on Ukrainian culture, Ukrainian national and social issues, as well as his significance to the past, present and future of Ukraine.
Conference speakers included Dr. Yuri Shevchuk (Columbia University), Dr. Anya Procyk (City University of New York), Dr. Michael Naydan (Penn State University), Dr. Volodymyr Dibrova (Harvard University), Dr. Taras Hunczak (Rutgers University), and Dr. Ihor Mirchuk (Pennsylvania Council of Ukrainian Studies).
The keynote address during the evening reception was delivered by the UWC President who highlighted the role of Taras Shevchenko as a defender of Ukraine’s statehood and native language, the self‑determination of peoples, human rights and social justice, while focusing on his relevance to the Ukrainian diaspora and the Ukrainian nation that was victorious during the Revolution of Dignity and today defends the eastern borders of Ukraine from Russian aggression.
The evening program also included the recitation of Taras Shevchenko’s poetry by National Artist of Ukraine Ivan Bernatsky.
“I call upon Ukrainians throughout the world to honour our Great Prophet Taras Shevchenko by popularizing his ideas of a fully independent and democratic Ukraine,” commented UWC President Eugene Czolij.

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9 July 2014
UWC announces commemorative insignia to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Taras Shevchenko

On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Taras Shevchenko, on 5 July 2014 the Board of Directors of the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) resolved to produce an insignia titled “200 years since the birth of Taras Shevchenko.”

“The UWC will award with this insignia individuals who made a significant personal contribution to the popularization of the cultural legacy and commemoration in the diaspora of the world renowned poet, artist, political prisoner and spiritual leader of the Ukrainian nation, Taras Shevchenko,” stated International Committee Chair Jaroszlava Hartyani.
The insignia, in the form of a medal featuring an image of Taras Shevchenko along with the words “200 years since the birth of Taras Shevchenko” and “Ukrainian World Congress”,  will be awarded together with a smaller replica in the form of a lapel pin and a Certificate of Achievement outlining the specific accomplishments being recognized.
More details on the insignia are available on the UWC web site.

4 June 2014
Ukrainian World Congress President delivers greetings during unveiling of Taras Shevchenko monument in Quebec City
On 31 May 2014 Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) President Eugene Czolij delivered greetings during the unveiling of a bust of Taras Shevchenko in Quebec City, Canada, marking the bicentennial of the birth of the Ukrainian poet, artist and political prisoner.
The bust of Taras Shevchenko, sculpted by Ukrainian Canadian artist Oleh Lesiuk, joins an array of world renowned poets on Quebec City's famous Allée des poètes (Poets alley).
The project, organized by the Quebec Shevchenko Monument Committee headed by Roma Kupchynska, was realized in partnership with the National Capital Commission of Quebec and the City of Quebec.
"Taras Shevchenko has defined the Ukrainian identity with his literary works and contribution to the cultural treasures of humanity,” commented UWC President Eugene Czolij. “The Allée des poètes in the historic old city of Quebec is a fitting location from which the genius of Taras Shevchenko will inspire generations for years to come."

In the picture from left: E. Czolij, R. Kupchynska and O. Lesiuk

20 May 2014

UWC organizing educational conference on Taras Shevchenko
at Princeton University Club in New York

In conjunction with the 200th anniversary of the birth of Taras Shevchenko, the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) is organizing an educational conference titled “Father Taras and the Ukrainian Weltanschauung” on 23-24 October 2014 at the Princeton University Club in New York, U.S.A.
The conference will focus on the influence of Taras Shevchenko on the Ukrainian language and literature, national and social thought in Ukraine and beyond its borders, and his relevance to contemporary Ukraine and its future.
Participating in the conference, part of the Zenowia & George Jurkiw Ukrainian Historical Encounters Series, will be leading scholars from around the world, including renowned Shevchenko specialists, and socio-political activists and the Ukrainian community. The working languages of the conference will be Ukrainian and English.
The conference coordinator is Dr. Walter Zaryckyj, Chair of the UWC International Scholarly Council and member of the UWC International Committee for the Commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Taras Shevchenko.
Detailed information will be posted on the UWC web site as it becomes available.

4 April 2014

Bicentennial of the birth of Taras Shevchenko marked at UN
On 27 March 2014 the 200th anniversary of the birth of Taras Shevchenko was commemorated at the United Nations in New York, U.S.A. - Taras Shevchenko: Champion of the Ukrainian language, self‑determination of peoples, human rights and social justice. The event, held in conjunction with UNESCO International Mother Language Day, was organized by the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) and the World Federation of Ukrainian Women’s Organizations (WFUWO) with the support of the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the United Nations.

Members of UN diplomatic representations, high-ranking U.S.A. state officials, representatives of the educational and cultural communities,and the general Ukrainian public participated in the commemoration of Taras Shevchenko.
The Deputy Chief of the General Assembly for Revitalization and Security Council Reform H.E. Noel Sinclair spoke on behalf of the President ofthe 68thSession of the UN General Assembly H.E. John B. Ashe, and the Director of the Outreach Division in the UN Department of Public Information Maher Nasserdelivered greetings on behalf of the UN Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal.
Remarks were also presented by Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs Andriy Deshchytsia, President of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America Tamara Olexy on behalf of UWC President Eugene Czolij, and WFUWO President Orysia Sushko. The keynote address was delivered by University of Toronto professor Dr. Maksym Tarnawsky.

The common theme was the significance of language as the main guarantor of a nation’s cultural legacy. The current events unfolding in Ukraine, however, also influenced the speakers who emphasized the continued relevance of the great poet as the Ukrainian people, who remain in a struggle for their freedom, continue to draw inspiration and strength from Shevchenko’s prophetic words.

The program also included performances by the Prometheus Chorus of Philadelphia, Vocal Duet Lisova Pisnia and the Dobriansky Brothers; English and Ukrainian reciting of Shevchenko’s poetry; as well as a slide presentation introducing the artwork of Taras Shevchenko. The Master of Ceremonies was Peter Fedynsky, translator of the recently released first complete English-language translation of Taras Shevchenko’s Kobzar.

8 March 2014
On the Bicentennial of the birth of Taras Shevchenko

On 9 March 2014 the world celebrates the 200th anniversary of the birth of Taras Shevchenko – world‑renowned poet, artist, champion of the Ukrainian language, political prisoner and spiritual leader of the Ukrainian nation.
The contribution of Taras Shevchenko to the intellectual and cultural heritage of humanity has not only withstood the test of time, but continues to inspire the generations of today in the struggle for the principles of equal rights and the self-determination of peoples.
As testimony to his international significance, the work of Taras Shevchenko can today be read and appreciated in over 130 different languages and about 1,100 monuments to the great poet have been erected in 40 countries throughout the world.
Through his work Taras Shevchenko determinedly spoke out against human rights violations, all forms of social injustice and oppression. He also harshly condemned the imperialistic policies of tsarist Russia and encouraged subjugated nations, including Ukrainians and all Slavic and Caucasian peoples to fight for their freedom.
Taras Shevchenko was also a visionary. Having watched his people languish under a tyrannical regime and being forced to spend most of his short life in exile as punishment for his beliefs as expressed in his literary works, he wrote about what he valued most in life – freedom.
The great poet indeed had a vision. It was a vision of an independent Ukraine in which all peoples would live in dignity, enjoying mutual respect, equal rights and fundamental freedoms. His poetry instilled hope and a belief in the Ukrainian people that victory would one day be theirs. Shevchenko’s poetry crystallized the national consciousness of the Ukrainian people and his influence is felt to this day. His literary works became, and remain to this day, without parallel, the inspiration of a nation.
Today, as the people of Ukraine remain in a fight for their freedom, Shevchenko’s vision is now the vision of a new generation of Ukrainians inspired to reaffirm their faith in fundamental human rights, democratic values, and a society in which social justice and rule of law prevail; inspired to staunchly defend the dignity and worth of the human person, and equal rights for men and women and nations large and small.
The legacy of Taras Shevchenko will guide the Ukrainian people to the victory that is rightfully theirs.
As Taras Shevchenko wrote in one of his most powerful poems, Kavkaz, in support of the Caucasian peoples in their struggle against tsarist Russia’s subjugation in the 19th century:
Fight — you’ll win the fight,
God is helping you!
Behind you stands the truth,
Behind you stands the glory,
And sacred liberty as well!


10 February 2014

Travelling Art Exhibits on Shevchenko Themes to commemorate
200th anniversary of the birth of Taras Shevchenko

The Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) International Committee for the Commemoration of the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Taras Shevchenko calls upon all Ukrainian community organizations in the diaspora to participate in the all-Ukrainian project: Travelling Art Exhibits on Shevchenko Themes.
This project, dedicated to the 200th anniversary of Taras Shevchenko, will involve the display throughout 2014 of travelling exhibits on Shevchenko themes which will present paintings, water colours, graphics, ceramic art, small sculptures, mosaics, tapestries and embroidery, created by Ukrainians and artists of other ethnocultural backgrounds. These exhibits will help focus greater attention of the international community on the significance of Taras Shevchenko on his anniversary and showcase the accomplishments of artists on Shevchenko themes.
Upon the conclusion of the commemorative year a photo album will be produced featuring the best works of the travelling exhibits from around the world.
The Ukrainian national central representations of the UWC will play a key role in the organization of these exhibits as coordinators of the activities in their respective countries and liaise with theUWC International Committee for the Commemoration of the 200th Anniversary of Taras Shevchenko.
The European Congress of Ukrainians is planning to organize a travelling art exhibit on Shevchenko themes in Europe. 

10 February 2014

“Monumental Shevchenkiana” project
marks 200th anniverary of the birth of Taras Shevchenko

The Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) International Committee for the Commemoration of the 200th Anniverary of the Birth of Taras Shevchenko calls upon Ukrainian community organizations in the diaspora to familiarize themselves with the exhibit Monumental Shevchenkiana that presents the most internationally unique collection of photographs of Taras Shevchenko memorials.

The creator of the exhibit, community activist and researcher Ruslan Telipskyi, personally researched, visited and photographed in Ukraine and 20 countries of the world close to 1,000 monuments, reliefs, busts, memorial plaques and commemorative markers honoring Taras Shevchenko.

This one-of-a-kind photo exhibit presents memorials created throughout time and around the world with artists’ renditions of the Great Ukrainian as an infant with his mother, a 14-year-old youth, an energetic young man and an elderly individual. He also appears in the images of his many faces – as a poet, thinker, philosopher, kobzar, artist, servant, shepherd, fighter against tyranny, rebel and soldier.

During the exhibit opening, the photographer introduces a collection of facts and interesting information about the memorials with a multimedia presentation titled: “Memorials honoring T.H. Shevchenko in Ukraine and around the world. Their role and significance in forming a positive image of Ukraine.”

Ruslan Telipskyi has presented the photo exhibit Monumental Shevchenkiana in Canada, Sweden, Belarus, Greece, Serbia and Latvia.

More information about the project is available in Ukrainian by viewing this video or visiting the UWC web site.

9 February 2014


Commemorating the
200th anniversary of Taras Shevchenko at the United Nations

On 27 February 2014, a commemorative event will be held at the United Nations (UN) in New York, titled “Taras Shevchenko: Champion of the Ukrainian language, self-determination of peoples, human rights and social justice.”
This initiative, in the framework of International Mother Language Day, is dedicated to the 200th anniversary of Taras Shevchenko – the world-renowned Ukrainian poet, artist and political prisoner, whose greatness is determined by his contribution to the cultural treasures of humanity. Organizers of the event are the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) and the World Federation of Ukrainian Women’s Organizations (WFUWO) with the support of the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the UN.
The commemorative program foresees greetings from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and President of the 68th General Assembly of the UN John B. Ashe, addresses by UWC President Eugene Czolij and WFUWO President Orysia Sushko, a keynote address by Prof. Maxim Tarnawsky of the University of Toronto, and a cultural program. The Master of Ceremonies will be the translator of Shevchenko’s Kobzar, Peter Fedynsky.
“This commemoration at the UN will enable us to further inform the international community about the creativity of the great Taras Shevchenko who elevated and suffered for the fundamental values that are at the core of the United Nations,” stated UWC President Eugene Czolij.

31 January 2014
Ukrainian World Congress calls upon Ukrainian diaspora
to commemorate 200th anniversary of the birth of Taras Shevchenko
The Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) calls upon the entire Ukrainian diaspora to commemorate throughout 2014 the 200th anniversary of the world-renowned poet, artist, political prisoner and spiritual leader of the Ukrainian nation, Taras Shevchenko, whose poetic legacy enriched the Ukrainian and international cultures.
The UWC encourages the inclusion in commemorative events of the Ukrainian community, particularly youth, along with representatives of government, non-governmental organizations and local residents.
Taras Shevchenko’s life and creative journey evolved during a time when Ukraine was under difficult repression by tsarist Russia. Disregarding severe political reaction and the persecution of any independent thought, Taras Shevchenko, through his work, determinedly spoke out against human rights violations, all forms of social injustice, oppression and tyranny. He also harshly condemned the aggressive policies of the Russian empire as those of a prison of nations, defended the rights of the Ukrainian and other subjugated nations and urged them to struggle for national independence.
As noted in a report delivered to tsar Nicholas I, Taras Shevchenko’s poems “could have sowed, and later rooted, thoughts about ... the possibility of Ukraine existing as an independent state.” For precisely such ideas, Russian tsarism punished Taras Shevchenko with imprisonment and over ten years of exile.
Shevchenko’s creative works, fully intransigent with offenders of the Ukrainian people and filled with fervent love for Ukraine, became one of the most important components of our spirituality, and his Kobzar – a national treasure for the Ukrainian people.
The UWC calls upon the Ukrainian diaspora to organize initiatives on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of Taras Shevchenko’s birth under his motto “Fight – victory will be yours”. 

  31 January 2014

International Committee for the Commemoration
of the 200thAnniversary of the Birth of Taras Shevchenko
The Ukrainian World Congress Executive Committee appointed the following individuals to the International Commitee for the Commemoration of the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Taras Shevchenko: Chair – Jaroszlava Hartyanyi (Hungary), Vice Chair – Anna Kisil (Canada), and members – Walter Zaryckyj (USA), Oksana А.Wynnyckyj-Yusypovych (Canada), Alexandra Faryma (The Netherlands), Pavlo Sadokha (Portugal), Irena Chalupa (USA), Daria Luciw (Canada), Michael Moravski (Australia), Mykola Linduk (Russia), Jeremías Taurydzkyj (Argentina), Iryna Kliuchkovska (Ukraine) and Yevgeniya Petrova (Canada).

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