The poetic quest “Garden of Shevchenko’s Words,” held on the occasion of the 200th birth anniversary of Taras Shevchenko and the 170th anniversary of the Lviv Polytechnic National University, was organized by the latter’s International Institute for Education, Culture and Links with the Diaspora. This is the first event in Lviv to bring together, thanks to Shevchenko and poetry, active students in a literary landscape game. The quest was held in the all-Ukrainian cradle of national spiritual unity, the flowering Garden of Global Ukrainian Community, and supported by the Shevchenko’s Grove Museum of Folk Architecture and Everyday Life. The “Prosvita” People’s House of the Lviv Polytechnic was a co-organizer of the event. “In our time, which is a very difficult one for Ukraine, Shevchenko, in the year of his 200th birth anniversary, came to life for us again in very different dimensions. He came out of concert halls to our streets and squares. In fact, the Revolution of Dignity and the current fight to defend our country from the aggressor are both fulfilling Shevchenko’s appeal ‘Keep fighting – you are sure to win!’” the event’s initiator, director of the Lviv Polytechnic’s International Institute for Education, Culture and Links with the Diaspora Iryna Kliuchkovska told The Day. “It is no accident that we decided to start and finish the quest in the Garden of Global Ukrainian Community, which we planted together with The Day’s editor-in-chief Larysa Ivshyna who was the author of this idea, rector of the Lviv Polytechnic Professor Yurii Bobal, and the city’s mayor Andrii Sadovy. This garden is a symbol of the Ukrainian unity, spirit and cause in Ukraine and abroad, that all of us now need very, very badly!”
As another co-organizer of the event Bohdan Sivanych told us, four teams, each of them having five people, took part in the game: “The Patriots” of the Institute of Building and Environmental Engineering, “Dziunia” of the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, “The Haidamaks” of the Institute of Economics and Management and “The Light” of the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences. Each team received a special route to go and a questionnaire to answer, which the organizers had compiled using mostly works by Shevchenko.”
Afterwards, participants and guests of the event had an opportunity to talk to the winner of the Shevchenko Prize, poet and social activist Ihor Kalynets as well as poet and translator Marianna Kyianovska. “The Light” team won the game, impressing those present not only with their knowledge of Shevchenko’s creative legacy, but also with a true sportsman’s fervor.
Kliuchkovska concluded: “For all of us, it is important to open up to Shevchenko, to feel him with our hearts, souls, and most importantly, minds. Therefore, we set as a condition for participation in this quest reading Kobzar, poetry and prose and in general, learning more about Shevchenko. I would like to note that The Day’s project ‘Non-Canonical Shevchenko’ gives great opportunities to those who cannot afford to travel along Shevchenko’s trails in Ukraine, to visit his grave or the National Taras Shevchenko Museum in Kyiv. Do not worry! All this can be found on the pages of Ukraine Incognita. It is important that young people come into contact with Shevchenko’s trails, at least in the virtual space, so that they understand exactly where Shevchenko had grown into a spiritual prophet, where The Great Crypt, Chyhyryn and The Plundered Grave have originated, and how the poet’s anti-Muscovite worldview took shape. Therefore, our main goal is to immerse young people into the depths of Shevchenko’s thought.”