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We need to learn to use our own history

This is the conclusion made by the participants of The Day’s day in Lutsk
05 February, 10:24

On Wednesday, the Lesia Ukrainka East European National University welcomed its old partner, The Day. The history of this partnership is now a decade long. The presentation of Ukraine Incognita, the first book from The Day’s Library, took place in Lutsk. This book was the starting point of not this project only, but many others. During this time, The Day’s books were spread not only around Volyn schools and libraries, but also added to a large number of private collections. And still, every year The Day’s day in Lutsk becomes a powerful and crowded intellectual event. Otherwise, according to The Day’s editor-in-chief Larysa Ivshyna, there would be no point of going to Lutsk, since “the paper does not need inert and passive partners.”

“We are often asked why we go to some cities while skipping others. Because we go to places where we are wanted the most,” said Ivshyna at the exhibit of the best photos of the paper’s photo contest. “Our newspaper and our publishing project receive a lot of support in Lutsk. And this project’s goal is to help our society become more mature.”

The Day’s editor-in-chief thanked to the Charitable Foundation “New Lutsk” and the chairperson of the Lesia Ukrainka East European National University Supervisory Board and MP Ihor Palytsia for the purchase of the “Armor-Piercing Political Writing” series for Lutsk schools. Palytsia, who received a degree in history, understands that a series of such concise, but contentful, books might be a preparation for, as Ivshyna called it, “a great intellectual reload.” The Day’s editor-in-chief talked to journalists about the importance of this path of self-knowledge for Ukraine and Ukrainians before the exhibit’s opening. But representatives of the Volyn mass media were interested in the editor’s opinion of the periodical, which is valued for stability and conservatism, for the positivity of these features. They are revealed in the long-lasting constant editorial policy: promote the establishment of state and, according to Ivshyna, “teach Ukrainians to use their own history.”

“A genuine career of a journalist is to have your personal stand and a right to express it,” these words came as revelation for many young representatives of the Volyn press. That is why it was offered to continue the interesting conversation as Ivshyna’s master class for Volyn mass media. Sviatoslav KRAVCHUK, first deputy mayor of Lutsk, saw the need in such training:

“During 20 years that I have worked in local governments, I have seen a great number of politicians that seemed to love Ukraine a lot in words, they wanted to see it rich and happy. They were overwhelmingly enthusiastic in their speeches, but that is where their enthusiasm ended. And during all this years, The Day has been published. Day after day, year after year, for two decades this paper has worked and established independence in the minds of people. The motto ‘Read The Day and think!’ is an absolute truth, in my opinion. One can present themselves as a person who loves their motherland. But one can also follow the example of Larysa Ivshyna and her periodical, and work, and give people an opportunity to think. Think about the history of the country and its future. The Day is a newspaper for people that want to know something. And not just get the information about the event, but its analysis as well, and learn to analyze it themselves. It is hard to publish a smart daily newspaper, but luckily, we have The Day in Ukraine.”


The Day’s day in Lutsk is perceived by many as an opportunity to buy The Day’s Library books. The librarian of School No. 20 Olena Kryvitska (Lutsk) purchased The Power of the Soft Sign, even though the school already has this book thanks to Palytsia’s Charitable Fund “New Lutsk.” But the demand is much higher, and more books are needed. The staff of the Volyn Oblast Universal Academic Library were also spotted near The Day’s bookstands. They buy large numbers of new copies of various books every year because, according to the head of book acquisition department Yevhenia Mosiichuk, the demand for The Day’s books is constantly increasing. And this time around, the library director Liudmyla Stasiuk and she bought a whole lot of The Day’s books again.

It was interesting to see students of Lutsk schools among fans of books on Ukrainian history. Apparently, we have no reason to accuse our children of unwillingness to read and know. During the presentation, some students of grade 9-A from Modest Levytsky Lutsk Gymnasium No. 4 made a gift of the “Armor-Piercing Political Writing” series to their school.

“This series was purchased by the parents of one of our students, Volodymyr Ihnatchuk,” says deputy director of the gymnasium Zoriana MARUSHCHAK. “Our students’ parents understand very well that they need to invest in their children’s education. They think that their children should know the history of Ukraine and could present themselves as citizens of Ukraine in other countries. If, of course, they want to travel abroad. And the “Armor-Piercing Political Writing” series is a unique present for us. The authors, whose works are compiled in the series, are included in the curriculum for the senior high students (10 and 11 grades). We can provide our students with literary works of these authors, but the political writing was missing. We had to search Why I Don’t Want to Come Back to the USSR? by Ivan Bahriany on the web before. And this is not a proper way to do it. We have to provide our students with knowledge that the writers did not only have literary talents, but that they also were active political writers and those works that were included into the “Armor-Piercing Political Writing” series should be known to every citizen of Ukraine. And also, our students were pleasantly surprised by communication with The Day’s editor-in-chief Larysa Ivshyna. They thought they were going to a sort of an academic event. And children do not like emotionless and dull people. That is why Larysa Ivshyna’s emotionality, her confidence in the things she was doing, were engaging. Our 9-A is a science class, and they think logically not only when it comes to math problems, but in other areas as well.”


On the same day, the meeting of the Lesia Ukrainka East European National University Supervisory Board took place. Ivshyna has been an active board member for many years. During the time that passed since the last meeting, the university did not only change its name from Volyn to East European, but also changed its status and conception. And as the university’s dean Ihor Kotsan already noted in a recent interview to The Day, the newspaper and its editor-in-chief promoted changes in the minds of those working at the university, they caused a kind of “intellectual reformatting.” The idea that the life of the region has to evolve around the university becomes reality. At the Supervisory Board meeting it was decided that university’s researchers should prepare a development concept for the historic and cultural reserve Old Lutsk, which has powerful tourism potential. And they should also design a project of the future university campus, which should start with science laboratories. And these projects and concepts will later be submitted to local authorities. Financing for the projects will be provided by the charitable foundation of the Supervisory Board chairperson Palytsia.


Danylo KURDELCHUK, head of the international NGO “Volyn Brotherhood”:

“The Day is a great, and I am not afraid of this word, ideological, power. While trying to achieve material well-being, we are missing out much in spiritual sense. We have a government that has no respect among people, but that is typical not only for Ukraine. And the efforts made by The Day are a part of the farsighted policy, which unites all the critically-minded people who believe in progress. Leo Tolstoy said once that there are more good people than bad ones, but the latter are much better organized and united. Our main task is to become organized! We can do that through creating institutions of civic society, cultural actions, etc. And The Day is a very important unit of this work. It is the center of kindness, hope, and perspective. People realize things, they grow spiritually, change with The Day. People read and start thinking not only about what they have to eat or to wear tomorrow. They come to understand their place in this state and in the process of state creation.”

Tetiana KUSHNERYK, journalist of Volyn Word newspaper:

“I try not to miss The Day’s photo exhibits in Lutsk, because they gather special people. Anyone can make a nice shot, anyone can appreciate the esthetic value of a photo and the author’s talent, but there are very few people capable of revealing the hypertext in The Day’s photos. These photos can say more than a thousand words. It is impossible to capture emotions, sincerity cannot be expressed through words, history can never be made unambiguous, but photographs are the life captured through a camera lens.

“My favorite nomination is ‘World as seen by children.’ I remember the photo My Neighbor. At the first glance, it is just an ordinary person, but if you look closer, you realize this is a whole generation, people who have lived through war, repressions, Holodomor, agony, dictatorships, and the worst of them, brainwashing, an artificial distortion of the system of values, elimination of whole dynasties of Ukraine’s elite, and of the nation’s cultural heritage along with them. The Day’s most important achievement is not organizing photo exhibitions or contests, and not even involving society into a dialog. The Day’s editor-in-chief Larysa Ivshyna noted that there is no point in having inert, passive followers. And the main achievement of this paper is the preparation of individual, intellectual leaders that will be able to raise the nation. And I wish we could see the result of these people’s work not only in photos.”

Iryna KACHAN, journalist at the Internet outlet VolynPost:

“I am ashamed to say this, but it is my first time at The Day’s photo exhibit. And I am lucky to be here. I was pleased, and moreover, even impressed. I wonder how much one has to love their work to be so devoted to it, to add even more to the complicated and restless journalist routine by organizing such projects. Before, I thought that this was just some ordinary photo contest of good shots made by talented photographers. I must admit that I was wrong. I have seen how inspired The Day’s workers are when they talk about the exhibit, I have heard opinions of reputable leaders about this project. And some photos are simply breathtaking. You look at them and realize: this is life, this is the true story of big and small people in this country, which sometimes seems to be godforsaken. And once, these photos will have an absolutely different value, when our children see things we never saw in them. These photos encourage us to love ourselves, our nation, our land and history. This is what a truly intellectual periodical strives to achieve. And it is not even that much about love for history, as for desire to learn from it, understand and appreciate it. It is a great thing that The Day knows the mission it fulfills, that its staff sets a nice example to fellow journalists: to be responsible towards its readers and the history of its people. As a beginning journalist, I am inspired by this.”

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