DVV International Ukraine in partnership with the All-Ukrainian Association "Nova Doba", EUSTORY, Koerber Stiftung, with the financial support of the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany, and with organisational support of the Ministry of Education and Sciences of Ukraine held history competitions for youth. The topic of the competitions was: "(Hi)story of my community: The past for a common future."
On June 15-16 in Kyiv, the award ceremony took place. It was a quite busy two-day event, during which participants were able to get acquainted with different approaches to working with historical sources, shaping a culture of memory and promoting historical knowledge in local communities.
On the first day, "Nova Doba" trainers conducted two parallel seminars for tutors and young people to find out the "internal workings" of each research project. Besides, the organisers needed to hear comments about the format, terms and topic of the competition from participants.
After lunch, a workshop devoted to storytelling was conducted by Olexander Zinchenko (host of the program "Declassified History" on the TV channel UA1). On witty examples, the lecturer tried to explain the benefits of history – is it possible to learn lessons from history; is it possible to predict the future, knowing about the past; and - at the end – how to tell (hi)story most interestingly?
The second day began with an official ceremony. The teams of winners and guests gathered at the National Museum of History of Ukraine, where they were greeted by representatives of the German Embassy, the EUSTORY network and the Ministry of Education. Petro Kendzor, a representative of "Nova Doba", referring to the participants, compared the history with a rear-view mirror in the car - you can drive without it, but it is going to be extremely dangerous.
Each of the 12 winning teams presented their work and answered questions from the audience. After presentations, tutors and team members took part in the discussion about local history, moderated by well-known writer Oksana Kis’. "Why do I like this project? - one of the students said, - Because it helps to understand that history is not just a set of dates to be learned for the test, but something interesting, something belongs to you, something you can find by yourself."
After the discussion, the coordinator of the competitions Andrii Fert and the country director of DVV International Ukraine Oleg Smirnov awarded winners with the certificates and presents.
And then - in an informal atmosphere created by Danylo Yanevsky, a historian and journalist, the participants talked about how to create a local historical memory, how to distribute their work and so on. "Honestly answer ourselves, why do we need it? To squeeze money out of the German foundations? – No. To restore memory, to create a new identity? – Yes”, - the lecturer provoked participants jokingly.
After the ceremony, 12 teams of winners will receive funding from DVV International Ukraine to develop a local memory culture and improve the education of history.
The competition was attended by young people aged 14-18 years. They teamed up and explored the past of their cities and villages. This contest was aimed at attracting attention to local history and helping young people better understand the methods of historical research.
288 teams from different regions of Ukraine submitted their entries for Jury review. Of these, 12 best ones were selected. Famous historians and journalists joined the jury: Yaroslav Hrytsak, Oksana Kis’, Danylo Yanevsky and Tetyana Sebta.
Distinguishing feature of this competition was that, in addition to the research, the participants had to submit proposals as to how their research could be used to develop a local culture of memory. DVV International Ukraine is currently launching financial support for winning proposals.
The winners' entries can be found via the link