Victoria Amelina, who had been due to begin a Harriman Residency at Reid Hall in September 2023, died on July 1 of injuries she sustained as the result of the Russian shelling of a restaurant in Kramatorsk on 27 June. Our thoughts go out at this time to her family and her friends.
Victoria Amelina was a Ukrainian novelist, essayist, poet, and human rights activist based in Kyiv. She won the Joseph Conrad Literature Prize for her prose works, including the novels Dom's Dream Kingdom and Fall Syndrome, and was a finalist for the European Union Prize for Literature and the UN Women in Arts Award.
Victoria was a founder of the New York Literature Festival, which took place in a village called New York in the Bakhmut area, in the Donetsk region. Since 2022 she had been collaborating with Ukrainian NGOs, including Truth Hounds and the Center for Civil Liberties, to document war crimes and advocate for accountability for the international crimes committed in Ukraine. Recently, she was working on a non-fiction project, Looking at Women Looking at War: War and Justice Diary.
Due to join the Harriman Residency at Reid Hall in September, she died on July 1, 2023, of injuries she sustained as the result of the Russian shelling of a restaurant in Kramatorsk on 27 June.
Thanks to the generosity of the Harriman Institute, the Institute for Ideas and Imagination, Columbia Global Centers | Paris, and a gift from the Ukrainian Studies Fund, four 12-month residencies for Ukrainian writers and creative artists were established for the year 2022-23: the Paul Klebnikov Residency was reserved for a journalist; the other three Harriman Residencies were open to writers and others in the creative and visual arts. Residency recipients were based at the Institute for Ideas and Imagination at Reid Hall, Columbia University’s academic center in Paris, where they participated fully in the life of the Institute and the Center.
Natalka Bilotserkivets (Наталка Білоцерківець) is the author of six books of poetry and a volume of selected poems, “We Shall Not Die in Paris” (“Ми помрем не в Парижі”) 2015 and 2018. Her poetry has been translated into a dozen languages, including recent English translations of Subterranean Fire (2020) and Eccentric Days of Hope and Sorrow (2021), and has been awarded many national and international prizes.
As a Harriman Resident, Natalka worked on Repossessions (working title), a small book of poems about the lost things (or, in a special way, poems of things, or things’ poems), which tell their life stories in the time of war.
Paul Klebnikov Fellow
Born in Donetsk in 1994, Nikita Grigorov moved in 2014 to Kyiv. He majored in Eastern European Studies at Taras Shevchenko National University Kyiv and attended Charles University in Prague. His work as a journalist has appeared in Ukrainian and foreign media as well as in literary anthologies. He is also the author of scripts for independent films and short plays. Together with Veniamin Belyavsky, he contributed to, translated, and edited an anthology of Ukrainian writers from Donbas Порода (“Breed”).
Zoya Laktionova was born in Mariupol in 1984. She made her first appearance in the world of documentary cinema as a character in the film "Ma"(10’) in 2017, and a year later she directed her first short documentary, "Diorama", about the mined sea in the Mariupol area. The film won an award in the MyStreetFilms category at the “86” festival (Ukraine) in 2018, was selected by several European film festivals, and was released in Ukraine in 2019. "Territory of Empty Windows" (10’) premiered in 2021 at the DocudaysUA International Human Rights DFF and received several awards in various festivals across Europe.
During her residency at the Institute for Ideas and Imagination, Zoya will work on two projects: a full-length hybrid documentary film, Ashes That Settle in Layers on the Surface, about her native city of Mariupol, and a short film, Muto, telling the story of the Roma genocide in Ukraine.
A graduate from the National Music Academy of Ukraine, Anna Stavychenko is a musicologist, music critic, and classical music manager. She pursued her PhD at the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich and the Richard Strauss Institute in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. She is an Executive Director of the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Director of the "Open Music City" Public Initiative, and Chief Executive Officer of the Lyatoshynsky Club, which aims to research, perform, and promote the Ukrainian repertoire of the 20th-21st centuries. Since the beginning of Russia's war against Ukraine, she has also been the curator of special projects of the Sinfonia Varsovia, launched to integrate the Ukrainian repertoire into the programs of this prominent Polish orchestra and create special events for Ukrainian refugees and their children. Stavychenko is also the head of a special mission of the Philharmonie de Paris, designed to provide temporary contracts with French national orchestras to Ukrainian musicians who were forced to leave their homeland because of the war.
As a Harriman Resident, Anna will work on a book that combines the real stories of Ukrainian refugee musicians—and her own—with insider narratives about the classical music industry.
This article by Claire Boisteau was published on October 19, 2023 on the Philharmonie de Paris website.
Victoria Amelina was a Ukrainian novelist, essayist, poet, and human rights activist based in Kyiv.
The residencies were made possible by the Harriman Institute, the Institute for Ideas & Imagination, Columbia Global Centers | Paris, and a gift from the Ukrainian Studies Fund.
The following programs feature the work of the residents and other Ukrainian artists.