Year XIV, Issue 1-2 (147-148)

February 2010
Volodymyr Kulyk, Mykola Riabchuk, Alexander J. Motyl. Choоsing Afterpast
George G. Grabowicz. The Wages of Voting for ‘None of the Above
Yevhen Minko. Television awaits its Despot
Alexander Bohomolov,Ihor Semyvolos. Conceptions of Self and of the Other in the Crimean Tatar Newspaper Discourse
Bogusław Bakuła. Borderlands without Mutual Marginalization
Oksana Forostyna. Article of Faith
Vsevolod Rechytskyi. In Defense of Bad Taste
Bohdan Boychuk. About Modernism in Kyiv
Anna Łazar. On Revolutionary Moments, Sexuality and the Public Sphere
Vasyl Makhno. Turn it Up if You Can
Frank Sysyn. Words of praise to Ihor Ševčenko
Rostyslav Khomiak. A Patriot Who Remained in Touch With Reality
Olha Lahutenko. Art on the Border of Two Worlds



The January-February issue of 2010 begins with an exchange of views on the Ukrainian Presidential elections between members of the Krytyka editorial board, Volodymyr Kulyk, Mykola Riabchuk and Alexander J. Motyl. In a concluding piece, “The Wages of Voting for ‘None of the Above’,” editor-in-chief George G. Grabowicz comments on the consequences of voting for the “third option” which, in effect sealed the recent Presidential election in Ukraine for Viktor Yanukovych—and which now become all the more apparent in light of the new Russian-Ukrainian pact he just signed extending the stay of Russia’s Black Sea fleet in Crimea until 2042 and thereby mortgaging, as many see it, Ukraine’s sovereignty. The Kyiv journalist Yevhen Minko analyzes in his essay “Television awaits its Despot” the state of the Ukrainian TV industry in the months leading up to the elections and focuses on such ominous developments as the ever-more frequent appeals for a “strong hand at the wheel” and for “stability” that implicitly are set against the “excesses of freedom.”

Alexander Bohomolov and Ihor Semyvolos of the Center of Near East Research at the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences (NANU) examine in the first part of their article, “Conceptions of Self and of the Other in the Crimean Tatar Newspaper Discourse,” the basic components of their collective identity, and particularly such key moments as “land,” “heritage,” “language,” “victimization” (the genocidal deportation), and “unity” or group solidarity. The second part of the article will deal with the Crimean Tatar media’s depiction of the “Other.”

Bogusіaw Bakuіa of Poznan University addresses in his essay “Borderlands without Mutual Marginalization” the recent boom in Polish studies dealing with the “Kresy” (the eastern Borderlands) from the point of view of post-colonial theory and Edward Said’s notion of Orientalism, that is, of a discourse that is both colonial and post-colonial, and contrast it with other approaches, particularly those that obtain in Ukrainian studies.

In her “Article of Faith” the Lviv journalist Oksana Forostyna addresses the phenomenon of the “unknown Obama,” and through a reading of his Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance (1995) and The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream (2006), as well as his inaugural speech (January 20, 2009), attempts to reconstruct his vision of multiculturalism and consensus—and sees there possible lessons for Ukrainian society.

In his “In Defense of Bad Taste,” Vsevolod Rechytskyi of the Kharkiv Human Rights Group writes on the obscurantist nature of the “National Committee in Defense of Social Morality” and the archaic character of the very notion of “social morality” in today’s information age. The activity of this Committee, he argues, is basically illegal in that it seeks to limit freedom of speech and the free flow of information. This topic, frequently noted on the pages of Krytyka, is also addressed by the Polish critic and art scholar Anna Јazar, who in her essay “On Revolutionary Moments, Sexuality and the Public Sphere,” adduces examples from contemporary Ukrainian art and from public discussions on the subject of censorship and attempts at ideological control.

In the Discussion section, the poet and critic Bohdan Boychuk, a founding member of the New York Group of Ukrainian poets, argues in his "The Ukrainian Modernism We DonЃft Know" that the vision of this phenomenon.beginning with its chronological frame and its proposed by Tamara Hundorova in her book Illuminating the Word, recently published by Krytyka, is basically flawed. Her reply to this charge, "About Modernism in Kyiv" allows her to restate that she sees Ukrainian Modernism not just as a literary style, but as a form of discourse and something very much part of general European culture.

In “Turn it Up if You Can,” an essay which is part of his forthcoming book A Guest in America, the New York poet Vasyl Makhno writes on the bohemian life of late- Soviet Ternopil. Frank Sysyn in his funeral oration delivered at the Ukrainian Free University on February 3, 2010 and Jaroslav Hrytsak in “The History of a Non-Professional Ukrainian” write in memory of the recently deceased eminent Byzantinist, Ukrainianist and member of the editorial board of Krytyka, Professor Ihor Ševčenko. In “A Patriot Who Remained in Touch With Reality,” Rostyslav Khomiak pays tribute to former head of the Ukrainian section of Radio Liberty, Roman Kupchynsky, and in “Art on the Border of Two Worlds,” Olha Lahutenko writes of the recently departed painter Marko Heiko.

The issue also includes а letter to the editor from Volodymyr Kravchenko of Kharkiv University on the Tabachnyk affair as well as an Open Letter on the same topic from the Shevchenko Scientific Society in the US addressed to the Ukrainian academic community, and a report on the International Conference on the 300th anniversary of the Battle of Poltava, held at Harvard on November 10–11, 2009.


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