CineLab • International Conference

Cultural Resistance Through Film: Performing Ukrainian National Identity

IFILNOVA, NOVA University Lisbon

13–14 July 2023

Despite having developed under Russia for most of its history (before, during and after the Soviet period), Ukrainian cinema has always claimed its artistic, cultural, and political singularity. Not only has it developed a particular filmic language of its own, but it also set up a powerful tool for political and artistic resistance against the misrepresentation, silencing and censorship of their cultural identity by the imperialist discourse of the Soviets and the Russians. Since the declaration of independence in 1991, the new wave of rehabilitation of the national cultural memory and heritage tarnished by Russian narratives based on military and informational aggression, began in Ukrainian cinema. Many contemporary Ukrainian films reflect on the post-totalitarian national history and the transitional state of Ukrainian culture as a postcolonial phenomenon. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2014, Ukrainian cinema has been considered the second front that has not come to a total halt even after the major escalation in 2022.

The aim of this conference is to reconsider the artistic, cultural, and political agencies of Ukrainian cinema throughout its history and in light of the recent political developments and the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war.

Keynote speakers: Olha Bryukhovetska / Vitaly Chernetsky.

Conference language: English.

To join the sessions on Zoom, use the following links:

13 July – link
14 July – link

Concept and organization: Mariia Lihus (NaUKMA, Ukraine; IFILNOVA, Portugal):, Stefanie Baumann (IFILNOVA, Portugal):

The conference will take place within the scope of the activities of the Laboratory of Cinema & Philosophy (CineLab) of the NOVA Institute of Philosophy (IFILNOVA) at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, NOVA University Lisbon, Portugal.


Thursday, July 13

9:30–10:00 Registration

10:00–10:15 Conference Opening

Session 1. Cultural Mobilization and Resistance in Ukrainian Cinema

Chair: Mariia Lihus

10:15–10:35 Natascha Drubek (Freie Universität Berlin, Germany), Cinematic Resistance in Times of War and the Future of Ukrainian Cinema

10:35–10:55 Elżbieta Olzacka (Centre for Comparative Studies of Civilisations Jagiellonian University, Poland), Cinema and Ukrainian Cultural Mobilization During the Russian Invasion (2022)

10:55–11:15 Anna Kryvenko (video and fine art photography artist based in Prague, Czech Republic, and Kyiv, Ukraine), Presentation of the film Easier Than You Think

11:15–11:45 Discussion

11:45–12:15 Coffee Break

Session 2. Cultural Self-Presentation in Ukrainian Poetic Cinema of 1960s

Chair: Stefanie Baumann

12:15–12:55 Olha Bryukhovetska (National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Ukraine; Ruhr University Bochum, Germany), Keynote Presentation: Aesthetic Resistance and Alterity: Sergey Parajanov and the Ukrainian School of Poetic Cinema

12:55–13:15 Oleksii Isakov (European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Germany), Between State Censorship and Cultural Revival: Production of the films Tini zabutych predkiv/Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1964) and Kaminnyj Chrest/The Stone Cross (1968) Within the Political and Cultural Context of the Thaw

13:15–13:35 Olha Lihus (Borys Grinchenko Kyiv University, Ukraine), Mariia Lihus (National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Ukraine; NOVA University Lisbon, Portugal), Music of Ukrainian Poetic Cinema as a Space for Construction of National Identity in Ukrainian Culture of the 1960s-1970s

13:35–14:00 Discussion

14:00–15:00 Lunch

Session 3. Kira Muratova’s Creativity on the Crossroads of Cultural Identification

Chair: Stefanie Baumann

15:00–15:20 Edgaras Bolšakovas (Vilnius University, Lithuania), Narrative Resistance in Kira Muratova’s Cinema

15:20–15:40 Irina Schulzki (University of Hagen, Germany), On the Poetics of Cinematic Influence: Crossmapping Gestures in Kira Muratova and Eva Neymann’s Films

15:40–16:00 Inna Matiushyna (National University “Odesa Law Academy”, Ukraine; University of Beira Interior, Portugal), Everyday Life is a Key to the Truth in Kira Muratova’s Films

16:00–16:30 Discussion

16:30–17:00 Coffee Break

Session 4. Film Screening

17:00–18:30 Budynok (House, 90min), an essay film by Tetyana Kononenko (Ukrainian film director based in Berlin and Nicosia) and Matilda Mester

Friday, July 14

Session 1. Workshop

10:00–12:00 Olha Bryukhovetska (National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (Ukraine), Ruhr University Bochum, Germany), Two Absent Funerals: Work of Mourning, Traumatic Energy, and Torn Identity in Ukrainian School of Poetic Cinema of 1960s

12:00–12:15 Coffee Break

Session 2. Russian Cultural Expansion in Ukrainian Film Industry

Chair: Mariia Lihus

12:15–12:35 Tetyana Kononenko (Ukrainian film director based in Berlin, Germany, and Nicosia, Cyprus), Soviet Propaganda Archives – a substitution of memory

12:35–12:55 Alena Kolesnikova (Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, Czech Republic), Russian Propaganda vs. Ukrainian Cultural Resistance in TV & Cinema

12:55–13:15 Oleksandra Kalinichenko (Kyiv National I. K. Karpenko-Karyi Theatre, Cinema and Television University), Construction and Representation of Cultural Trauma in Contemporary Ukrainian Cinema

13:15–13:45 Discussion

13:45–14:50 Lunch

Session 3. Keynote Presentation (online)

15:00–16:00 Vitaly Chernetsky (University of Kansas, the U.S.), Ukrainian Cinema, Cultural Transformation, and the War Response: Ideas, Memories, Hopes

16:00–16:15 Conference Closing