Frontera International Cultural Festival

Frontera International Cultural Festival
In 2017, the Ukrainian city of Lutsk hosted Meridian Lutsk, a spin-off of the popular Meridian Czernowitz International Poetry Festival. The inaugural festival was a success, but instead of making it an annual event, the festival team decided to launch a standalone literary festival. That’s how the Frontera International Cultural Festival was born.

The initiators and organizers of the Frontera Festival are the StendhaL Art Association and the Department of Culture of the Lutsk City Council. The name of the festival is symbolic: the word “frontera” refers to a strip of free land, a border area where there seem to be too many restrictions, but at the same time no one can really control it. This is a territory where literature is the main driving force. The main goal of the Frontera International Cultural Festival is to identify a common language code that unites the author and the reader, helping them get past borders and cultures.

The concept of the festival is based on the annual change of the participating countries. For example, the inaugural Frontera Festival, held in November 2018, focused on Ukrainian, Belarusian, Latvian and Polish literature. This choice was not accidental, as the Volyn Oblast (province) whose administrative center is Lutsk borders on Poland and Belarus, and Latvia is located not so far away either. Therefore, the culture and literature of these countries are not alien to Lutsk. According to the festival team, the main task of Frontera is to facilitate intercultural dialog between the four peoples which are historically tied to Lutsk and Volyn.

The theme of first Frontera International Cultural Festival was the century between 1918 and 2018 – a time of reflection and cultural experiments. This time wasn’t easy for Lutsk because the city passed from one country to another several times during the October Revolution and the subsequent civil war. It was part of Poland from 1921 to 1939, then during the Second World War Volyn was annexed by the Soviet Union, and since 1991 Lutsk has been part of independent Ukraine. All this, of course, has had a significant impact on the cultural and literary process in the city.

The program of Frontera includes meetings with authors and literary critics, lectures, themed tours, theatre performances, and special events for children and young people. The guests of the debut festival included Ukrainian writers Andriy Lyubka, Maks Kidruk, Oleksandr Boychenko and Pavlo Korobchuk, as well as Krzysztof Czyżewski and Igor Logvinov, cultural management gurus from Poland and Belarus, respectively.





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