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Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

Notes from the first line of defense

Den’s Photo Exhibition came to Chechelnyk for the fourth time
19 August, 2014 - 11:25
Photo by Artem SLIPACHUK, The Day

“There is no backcountry for us. Den values its readers, wherever they live... We in Den convinced that people in the provinces have as much right to be involved in quality events that occur in the country as residents of the capital,” were the almost final instructions given by Den’s editor-in-chief Larysa Ivshyna when seeing off our team that departed for the town of Chechelnyk, Vinnytsia region. She was 100 percent right. Shortage of quality cultural events was the first complaint of almost every visitor of the 4th Den’s Photo Exhibition’s opening ceremony in Chechelnyk...

The exhibition visited Vinnytsia region for the first time in 2007. Farming company Olhopil and its director Pavlo Kalenych sponsored it, allowing residents of Chechelnyk to see the most remarkable photo moments capturing Ukraine in 2006. After that event, many locals have become attentive readers of Den and books we publish in Den’s Library series, while our meetings in Chechelnyk and Olhopil have become traditional and have found increasingly warm reception...

On the fourth occasion, we went to Chechelnyk like it was our home, and people there greeted us like family.

Residents of this remote rural district, jokingly called by local wits “Kushka of Vinnytsia region” (Kushka is a village in Turkmenistan, known as one of the southernmost points of the USSR under the Soviets) are bravely holding perhaps the most important line of defense, that of the Ukrainian spirit. Many locals have someone at the frontlines – a nephew, a son, a brother, or a relative by marriage... When we were opening the photo exhibition, a nearby village buried two fallen soldiers. Here, too, the whole village is now providing their men with clothing and footwear as they go to the frontlines. Here as well, farmers feel that this year’s crop, despite good yield, will be unaffordably expensive to produce, because “diesel fuel’s price has surged,” and “all seed and equipment are imported, bought for euros and dollars.” Even so, they do not forget that “not by bread alone shall man live,” so they seek and find resources to bring over a photo exhibition from Kyiv and purchase quality books for children. Pavlo Kalenych’s order of 20 sets of the      “Armor-Piercing Political Writing” collection for schools of Vinnytsia region is another proof of it.

According to Ivshyna, such “immersion” in the region is not only justified, but essential. This is Den’s ideological stance, which this newspaper professes and adheres to systematically, because one benefits from taking an interest in Ukrainian “Kushkas” by discovering “diamonds.” This is a task beyond the abilities of the online journalism, and these “excavations” should become a part of the Ukrainian journalism’s mission. One of the first visitors to our exhibition in Chechelnyk called our work this very word – “mission.”