Ukrainian World Congress calls upon Ukrainian diaspora to commemorate 200th anniversary of the birth of Taras Shevchenko
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 bytsarist 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 othersubjugated 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 intransigentwith 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”.