Urban Culture, Entertainment, and Networking in Times of Social Unrests, Wars, and Revolutions (1900s–1920s)

Collaborative Research Project by Dr. Olena Betlii and Dr. Oksana Dudko

A result of collaboration between research by Dr. Olena Betlii and Dr. Oksana Dudko this joint project will look at cultural policies and practices in across the First World War conjuncture, including occupations, revolutions, and post-conflict reconstruction. It aims to analyze cultural interactions through the period of dramatic events of the beginning of the 20th century, namely the First World War, revolutions and civil wars (Polish-Ukrainian and Polish-Bolshevik wars). Large scale movements of people and ideas, ruptures of social and professional networks provoked changes inside existing social and national groups and milieus, but at the same time triggered interactions between artists and theaters of Russian and Austro-Hungarian Empires. One of the best examples is the Ruska Besida Theater Company. While this theater did not manage to settle in Lviv/Lwów/Lemberg it became a platform from which multiple professional theaters emerged in various cities and towns across both empires, in Kolomyya, Ternopil, Kamianets-Podilskyi, Proskuriv, Vinnytsia, and Cherkasy. These theaters launched and established in the period of massive turmoil of the Great War, revolutions and civil wars continue to exist until today. This project will explore this mobility and networking across moving fronts and regimes to argue that cultural crossings, encounters, and exchanges in this turbulent period created new and critical cultural frameworks for Eastern Europe.

Related Publications and Presentations

Oksana Dudko, "Lviv Artists’ War: Ukrainian Theatre Actresses and Actors In-Between Front and Home Front (1914—1918), conference "Domestic Fronts": the Home Front at War (1914—1920)", Université de Pau, France, November 19—20, 2015

Image: Ruska (Ukrainian) Besida Theater Company 1913/1914
Arts Collection of the Stefanyk National Library in Lviv