11:59 28 Sep 2023

Cultural fortitude amid war: Ukraine to invest five times more in cinema and books in 2024

The Ukrainian government allocated five times more funding for the State Film Agency and the Ukrainian Book Institute.

According to the draft budget that the government submitted to the parliament, ₴10.7 billion (over $288 million) was invested in culture, which is 2.3 billion more than in 2023.

The Cabinet of Ministers proposes increasing spending on the Ukrainian State Film Agency to ₴618.3 million ($16.7 million). Prime Minister Shmyhal said ₴511 million ($13.8 million) were invested in producing patriotic films and TV series.

Also, five times more financing was allocated to the Ukrainian Book Institute (up to ₴466 million/$12.6 million). The government wants direct 30 million for publishing of books with "narratives of national-patriotic education," which would meet the needs of libraries and institutions and "provide information about the classics of Ukrainian literature," said Deputy Minister of Culture Rostislav Karandieiev on Radio Kultura. The funds will also be used to publish translations in the Ukrainian language.

According to Karandieiev, with the increased funding, the Ukrainian Book Institute will buy more editions and translations for libraries and promote the Ukrainian book publishing industry abroad.

"Ukrainian books should replace Russian books. They should de-occupy library shelves," said Rostyslav Karandeiev at the KyivBookFest book festival. "We should also  return Ukrainian books to libraries in the liberated territories because this is part of the cultural de-occupation of Ukraine." 

He added that financing cannot cover all the institute's plans, but it will at least partially fill the libraries with Ukrainian books.

The budget also funds book certificates for children (₴376 million/$10.14 million). They will be issued at the age of 18, probably through the Diia gov app, says Karandieiev.

Rubryka reported that the Ukrainian Institute introduced an English-language platform dedicated to Ukrainian culture.

Rubryka also reported that Ukraine's new law on decolonization came into force, promising to bring an end to a painful era of its history by tearing down the last remaining monuments of the Soviet period. Those with propaganda meaning will be dismantled, and those with artistic value will be preserved. Find out more: Original, but unprotected: how Ukraine destroys and preserves mosaic panels of the Soviet period.

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