From March 19 to 24, members of the OKO International Ethnographic Film Festival team will be in Brussels to organize a series of cultural events.
As part of the project OKO Travels, Tetiana Stanieva (director of the film festival), Yan Lelyuk (technical director), and Oleksandr Baron (communications director and photographer) will hold a film screening Look at Ukraine with other eyes!.
The program also includes a photo exhibition Different Ukraine (by Oleksandr Baron) and a charity fair of patriotic handicrafts to raise funds for the 88th separate marine battalion based in the festival's hometown of Bolhrad (Odesa region).
The first event, on March 19, will be hosted by the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Belgium. Representatives of the Bulgarian diaspora will watch the film about Ukrainian Bulgarians, Place of Power, and discuss it directly with the author and the film crew.
The second event, scheduled for March 21, will be held at the European Parliament. There, Tetiana Stanieva will deliver a speech about the war in Ukraine, the victory, and the rights of national minorities. She aims to increase European support for Ukraine and strengthen unity in the fight against the aggressor. The discussion will base on the short film Own about the consequences of the Russian occupation of Bucha, Irpin, and Borodianka in the spring of 2022.
“This is not a war between Russia and Ukraine. It is a war between light and darkness, freedom and chains, civilization and barbarism, democracy, and totalitarianism. We are fighting for our identity. All the ethnic communities, all the people of Ukraine, and the entire world must unite on the side of light to overcome the darkness. A powerful weapon in this fight for common values is interethnic and intercultural dialogue.
If everyone loved their country and respected others, there would be no wars in the world. There would have been no war if the world community had not been so naive about Russia as an aggressor and the personification of evil. Now our common goal is to defeat this Goliath with all possible means to survive and preserve our own,” believes Tetiana Stanieva.
On March 24, a farewell party for the Bulgarian and Ukrainian diaspora and all interested Brussels residents called Yes, Bulgaria stands with Ukraine! will be held. At the event, there will be an opportunity to talk to members of the OKO team, ask them questions, discuss the war, the pains, and hopes of Ukraine, the role of ethnic communities, including the Bulgarian diaspora, in Ukraine and the war, and express your solidarity with the Ukrainian people. The band AMPLICAN will perform at the party, and all the guests will be invited to dance the traditional Bulgarian horo of unity (Bulgarian national folk dance).
The events in Brussels will be supported by the Bulgarian Embassy in Belgium, the organization Yes, Bulgaria, MEP Radan Kanev, and the Bulgarian diaspora in Belgium.