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PEN Ukraine: On Dialogue While Bombs Are Falling

Posted on 21. März 2022 by novinki
Das ukrainische Kapitel des PEN Clubs begründet in diesem Offenen Brief an die internationale Gemeinschaft ihren Boykott russländischer Kultur: "the only appropriate subject for our discussions [...] must be about the need for an immediate cessation of Russia’s war crimes, not about the merits of its culture."

Das ukrainische Kapitel des PEN Clubs begründet in diesem Offenen Brief an die internationale Gemeinschaft ihren Boykott russländischer Kultur: "the only appropriate subject for our discussions must be about the need for an immediate cessation of Russia’s war crimes, not about the merits of its culture."

As members of PEN Ukraine, writers in a variety of languages and representing a number of nationalities, and recognizing that, in a time of war, all who work in cultural fields bear a special responsibility both to culture itself and to the lives of those under siege, we would like to address the international intellectual community.

Ever since February 24th, when Russia launched a full-scale war against our country, we’ve been receiving daily requests to engage in dialogue with Russian intellectuals on the question of reconciliation. At the same time, a number of our colleagues abroad have reacted harshly to our call for a boycott of Russian culture. This reaction only serves to distract the world’s attention from the war crimes being committed daily by Russia in its war against Ukraine.

Our concern is that, in Russia’s totalitarian society, culture is an instrument of influence and propaganda, and can be used to obscure the countless war crimes being committed by Russia against Ukraine. Today, in the name of “Russkiy Mir”, Russian soldiers are murdering civilians, bombing hospitals, elementary schools, theaters, libraries, and universities, destroying not only Ukrainian culture as a whole but also the diverse cultures of the many minority communities living in Ukraine.

We remember those few individual representatives of Russian culture who, eight years ago, when Russia occupied Crimea and a part of our eastern territories, stood up in defense of Ukrainian territorial integrity. We also value the support of those who speak out against the war today. While we ourselves have often expressed our support for those writers, scholars, and human rights advocates who’ve openly opposed the Kremlin, we have to assert that, as long as bombs and missiles are falling on us, dialogue about reconciliation is impossible.

Today, and until that moment when the last Russian soldier has left Ukrainian territory, the only appropriate subject for our discussions with the international intellectual community must be about the need for an immediate cessation of Russia’s war crimes, not about the merits of its culture.

 

Die englische Übersetzung des Briefes mitsamt der vollständigen Liste der Unterzeichnenden kann hier auf der Seite von PEN Ukraine gefunden werden.

Bildquelle: © PEN Ukraine, 2022

 

PEN Ukraine: On Dialogue While Bombs Are Falling - novinki
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PEN Ukraine: On Dia­logue While Bombs Are Falling

Das ukrai­ni­sche Kapitel des PEN Clubs begründet in diesem Offenen Brief an die inter­na­tio­nale Gemein­schaft ihren Boy­kott russ­län­di­scher Kultur: “the only appro­priate sub­ject for our dis­cus­sions […] must be about the need for an imme­diate ces­sa­tion of Russia’s war crimes, not about the merits of its culture.”

As mem­bers of PEN Ukraine, wri­ters in a variety of lan­guages and repre­sen­ting a number of natio­na­li­ties, and reco­gni­zing that, in a time of war, all who work in cul­tural fields bear a spe­cial respon­si­bi­lity both to cul­ture itself and to the lives of those under siege, we would like to address the inter­na­tional intellec­tual community.

Ever since February 24th, when Russia laun­ched a full-scale war against our country, we’ve been recei­ving daily requests to engage in dia­logue with Rus­sian intellec­tuals on the ques­tion of recon­ci­lia­tion. At the same time, a number of our col­le­agues abroad have reacted harshly to our call for a boy­cott of Rus­sian cul­ture. This reac­tion only serves to dis­tract the world’s atten­tion from the war crimes being com­mitted daily by Russia in its war against Ukraine.

Our con­cern is that, in Russia’s tota­li­ta­rian society, cul­ture is an instru­ment of influence and pro­pa­ganda, and can be used to obscure the count­less war crimes being com­mitted by Russia against Ukraine. Today, in the name of “Russkiy Mir”, Rus­sian sol­diers are mur­de­ring civi­lians, bom­bing hos­pi­tals, ele­men­tary schools, thea­ters, libra­ries, and uni­ver­si­ties, des­troying not only Ukrai­nian cul­ture as a whole but also the diverse cul­tures of the many mino­rity com­mu­ni­ties living in Ukraine.

We remember those few indi­vi­dual repre­sen­ta­tives of Rus­sian cul­ture who, eight years ago, when Russia occu­pied Crimea and a part of our eas­tern ter­ri­to­ries, stood up in defense of Ukrai­nian ter­ri­to­rial inte­grity. We also value the sup­port of those who speak out against the war today. While we our­selves have often expressed our sup­port for those wri­ters, scho­lars, and human rights advo­cates who’ve openly opposed the Kremlin, we have to assert that, as long as bombs and mis­siles are fal­ling on us, dia­logue about recon­ci­lia­tion is impossible.

Today, and until that moment when the last Rus­sian sol­dier has left Ukrai­nian ter­ri­tory, the only appro­priate sub­ject for our dis­cus­sions with the inter­na­tional intellec­tual com­mu­nity must be about the need for an imme­diate ces­sa­tion of Russia’s war crimes, not about the merits of its culture.

 

Die eng­li­sche Über­set­zung des Briefes mit­samt der voll­stän­digen Liste der Unter­zeich­nenden kann hier auf der Seite von PEN Ukraine gefunden werden.

Bild­quelle: © PEN Ukraine, 2022