Ukraine House in Denmark

“We all have a certain striving to freedom within us” – New Ukrainian poetry and music at the Ukraine House in Denmark with the poet Julia Musakovska and the musician Sofia Shvager


Earlier in spring, the Ukraine House in Denmark hosted an evening of new Ukrainian poetry and music with poet and translator Yuliya Musakovska arriving from Ukraine and the Copenhagen-based Ukrainian musician Sofia Shvager. The evening began with the presentation of Yuliya’s latest poetry collection “The God of Freedom” (2021). The key takeaways from the moderated presentation and Yulyia’s readings of her poetry are here:

  • Russia's war against Ukraine started in 2014, and it was evident from the beginning that it will spread all throughout the country. It was crucial for the world to pay attention to and support Ukraine then to prevent the full-scale war from happening in 2022. Yuliya’s collection, written between 2016-2021 is being perceived now as if it was post-2022 poetry due to the pertinence of the war-related themes in it.

  • Poetry gets reinterpreted with time, helping us process the circumstances we are faced with. Some poems Yuliya wrote during the COVID-19 pandemic on the meaning of a safe home resonate very differently in 2022. 

  • We are all going through a great transformation currently, in all areas of our lives, led by the desire for freedom and the fight for freedom we have right now. This is something Yuliya reflects on the most in her poetry.

  • It is crucial to preserve the voices of the Ukrainian artists killed by the Russian forces but also crucial to read and promote the Ukrainian authors who are fighting at the frontline. Not only do they bear witness of the war, recounting very unique, life-altering experiences, raw and full of suffering and sacrifice, but also they do so with great talent and with powerful forms.

  • Translations of Ukrainian poetry are now experiencing a boost, however many contextual details of the translated poems that are understood by Ukrainian readers often need further explanation for the audiences abroad. Yuliya usually does that through conversations, interviews and articles.

  • The role of Ukrainian writers in wartime is to  record and communicate the reality of devastation and perseverance in any possible form. But many choose to take on another, critical role of a defender. 

With that Yuliya recounted a personal, painful story about the choice Ukrainian artists and writers make in wartime. She told the audience of Oleksandr Osadko, the husband of her close friend and writer, Hanna Osadko. Oleksandr wrote wonderful humorous short stories about Ukrainian village life, was praised for them on literary portals in the 2000s but didn’t think much of his writing craft. When he was killed in action in July of 2022, after joining the ranks of the Ukrainian Armed Forces voluntarily after the full scale invasion, his wife Hanna decided to publish his book. The Old Lion Publishing House loved it, and confessed that it was a great loss that his works are published only posthumously and he didn’t write more in his lifetime. Yet, those stories are now something that he will be remembered by, by many Ukrainians. Many people of art and literature abandon their craft to defend the country's freedom and future. Some serve as spokespeople for their country when performing their works abroad and calling for the support of Ukraine.

The evening ended with music by Sofia Shvager, who performed her latest songs on her acoustic guitar, prefacing each one with a heartfelt story that inspired its creation. From reminiscing on life as a foreigner in a different country to reflecting on the role of women in our remembrance of the past, her works sparkled many reflections and contributed to the pleasant atmosphere of the evening.  

With their works both artists reminded the audience of the active and insightful work of the Ukrainian artists amidst the Russian war of aggression, the transformations Ukrainians undergo and the importance of supporting Ukrainian voices now that the Ukrainian artists work in mortal danger.




Ukraine House in Denmark is the center of the Ukrainian culture in Denmark.

It is home away from home for the Ukrainian community and a focal point for Danes who are in love with Ukraine or are getting to know the Ukrainian culture. It is an expression of trust and ambition to build a better world based on shared values and complementary perspectives.

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