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Yaryna Zakalska

Ukrainian folklorist, Ph.D. in philology, lecturer of English and Ukrainian language and literature, and SMM specialist in the team of the OKO International Ethnographic Film Festival.


Yaryna was born on April 27, 1992, in Lviv.


She graduated from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv with a master's degree in folklore studies in 2015. She received the qualification of folklorist, teacher of Ukrainian language and literature, and English language. She was a postgraduate student at the Department of Folklore Studies of the Institute of Philology of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv from 2015 to 2019. Furthermore, she defended her Ph.D. thesis on the topic “Ukrainian folklore of resistance: tradition and modification, the mechanisms of transmission” and became a Ph.D. in Philology (10.01.07 folklore studies) in 2021.


Yaryna worked as an editor of the journal “Treasury of Ukraine” from 2012 to 2021. She was the literary editor of the book “Connected by Dolia. Memories about Oleksii Dolia”.


She taught Ukrainian at the National Aviation University and Ukrainian as a foreign language at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (2016–2017 and 2020–2021).


She gave lecture courses on “Editing of professional publications”, “Ethnotourism” and “Museum communication” for the students of the Department of Folklore Studies at the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. She also worked at the Waldorf school “Kvinta”.


Yaryna popularizes Ukrainian traditions and customs by giving professional interviews on radio and television. She reported at scientific conferences in Ukraine and abroad, in particular in Lithuania, Poland, Estonia, and Austria. She is the author of 15 scientific publications.


She became one of the winners of the XV Radio Dictation of National Unity in 2020. Yaryna won the contest of the literary podcast “KruteZNO”. She has been involved as a volunteer in many cultural projects.


She also worked as an SMM specialist on the project “Children of the Country: Entertainment for Courage” in 2022. This project supports children of internally displaced persons.

Yaryna has been with the OKO team since the very first edition. In 2020, she joined the festival as a volunteer; in 2021, she became a volunteer and translator of the films of the competition program from English to Ukrainian; and since 2022, she has been working as an SMM specialist.

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