Cultural program of the Ukrainian Institute at the Ukraine Recovery Conference 2024

The international event Ukraine Recovery Conference 2024 (URC2024) took place on June 11 and 12 in Berlin. The Ukrainian Institute was involved in the coordination and curatorial support of the cultural and artistic component of the conference.

Photos: Phototek & Roman Hryhoriw, press service of Olena Zelenska

The Ukraine Recovery Conference (URC2024) took place on June 11 and 12 in Berlin. Its aim was to consolidate sustained international support for the long-term reconstruction, reform and modernization of Ukraine. Over 2000 people from 60 countries took part in the conference.

The conference was attended by Ukrainian and European heads of governments. The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyj, and the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, gave speeches on the importance of Ukraine’s victory in the war against Russia.

Cultural program at the URC 2024

The cultural program was an important part of the conference. It had presented the work of Ukrainian cultural diplomacy during the war. The Ukrainian Institute had been involved in the coordination and curatorial support of the URC2024 cultural program. The Ukrainian Institute had presented several projects at the URC 2024.

This included the exhibition “Postcards from Ukraine,” which was organized by the Ukrainian Institute with the support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This project had shown the destruction of Ukrainian cultural heritage as a result of Russian bombing and shelling.

Another exhibition presented was “Palyanytsya” by Ukrainian artist Zhanna Kadyrova. This exhibition was part of the Ukrainian Institute’s “Kaleidoscope of (Hi)stories” project. Kadyrova had created her “Palyanytsya” from river rocks from the Zakarpattia region. Before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, they symbolized traditional Ukrainian bread. After February 24, 2022, however, they had taken on an additional symbolic meaning, as Ukrainians had used this word as a code to distinguish Ukrainians from Russians who could not pronounce the word correctly.

The last photo project presented by the Ukrainian Institute at the URC 2024 was called “Ukrainian Jazz Musicians at War”. It featured the stories of Ukrainian jazz musicians who had joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Territorial Defense. Photos of the jazz musicians from their concert life before the war contrasted with their current life at war.

The First Lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, visited these exhibitions. Volodymyr Sheiko, Director General of the Ukrainian Institute, and Kateryna Rietz-Rakul, Head of the UI Representative Office in Germany, guided Olena Zelenska through the exhibitions and told her more about them.

Discussion about culture and science

On June 11, a panel discussion on reconstruction in the fields of science and culture took place as part of the conference. Volodymyr Sheiko, Director General of the Ukrainian Institute, Anna Bartels, Commissioner for Foreign Cultural Policy of the Federal Foreign Office, Johannes Ebert, Secretary General of the Goethe-Institut, Robert Schlögl, President of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Oleksandra Antoniuk, Senior Researcher at the Institute of Mathematics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, and Johannes Nathan, Member of the Supervisory Board of the Ukraine Art Aid Center, took part in the discussion. James Waterhouse, correspondent for BBC Ukraine, moderated the discussion.


The cultural programme of the URC 2024 was organized by the German Federal Foreign Office, the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Institute, the Embassy of Ukraine in Germany and the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine.