Washington, D.C. and Kiev, Ukraine—Ukraine today is a pluralist society amidst authoritarian regimes, is also home to an extraordinary tradition of civil society, and to gifted writers, thinkers, and artists, who have raised in new ways fundamental questions about ethics, aesthetics, and politics. In the middle of May, an international group of intellectuals will come to Kiev to meet Ukrainian counterparts, demonstrate solidarity, and carry out a public discussion about the meaning of Ukrainian pluralism for the future of Europe, Russia, and the world. Visitors include Bernard-Henri Lévy, Adam Michnik, Ivan Krastev, Bernard Kouchner, Wolf Biermann, Viktor Erofeyev, Agnieszka Holland, Paul Berman, Timothy Garton Ash, Slavenka Drakulić, Karel Schwarzenberg, Franklin Foer, Timothy Snyder, and Leon Wieseltier.
The Ukrainian revolution raises classical and contemporary questions. How can human rights be grounded and how are we motivated by the idea of human rights? How and when does language provide access to the universal, and how and when does it define political difference? Are some experiences so intense that they alter the character of intellectual exchange as such? How is decency in politics possible amidst international anarchy, domestic corruption, and the general fallibility of individuals? Does revolution renew Europe and revive political thought or can revolution, like everything else, be consumed by the clichés and abstractions of globalization?
The discussion will take place May 15-19, a week before the presidential elections. It takes the form of seven public panels, in which international and local intellectuals will meet to be held before a large audience at the Diplomatic Academy, as well as broadcast live. There will also be six public lectures held at the Kyiv Mohyla Academy. The gathering was the initiative of Leon Wieseltier of The New Republic and Timothy Snyder of Yale University and IWM and is organized locally by Krytyka in Kiev with a host of Ukrainian and international partners.
News media from Europe, Russia, and North America, including major dailies and television, have confirmed participation. For further information please contact Annie Augustine at [email protected] or(202) 505-4482.
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Director of Communications, The New Republic