In June 2016 Ukraїner began its work as a media project aimed toward advocates of intellectual mass media, unexpected geographical discoveries, and multiculturalism.
For the past few decades Ukrainians have actively emigrated or moved for good to big cities, leaving behind their small towns and villages without learning anything substantial about them. The stories and history of small areas didn’t make it into mass media and very often remained only in family archives, eventually fading from memory. This is what prompted Ukraїner to tell the stories from all the corners of the country to Ukrainians themselves. This is our way of rethinking historic and cultural DNA — the ethnic, geographic, and anthropological features — of our native lands. We hope that a project of this kind will help to define the significance of our own country to ourselves and to develop the environment where we live instead of leaving it behind.
To onlookers, Ukraine is an unexpected, interesting, unpredictable, and authentic country. Do Ukrainians see it in the same way? Coming back from abroad, Ukrainians pay attention to the dullness, negativity, impoliteness, and rudeness of big cities. Over the past few years Ukraїner’s stories have been predominantly demonstrating Ukraine in the world context — showing changes and victories in all regions and on all levels. We have also decided to introduce Ukraine to the world, and with the help of a large volunteer team we are releasing our stories in a number of languages, including English, Polish, German, Czech, Georgian, French, and Greek.
Domestic tourism is underdeveloped in Ukraine, as is the network of public transportation. Many Ukrainians have never traveled outside their own region. Those of us who do travel around Ukraine a lot can see how little we know about our neighboring regions and the country as a whole. By sharing information, our goal is to overcome the stereotypes about Ukraine’s various regions.
That’s why we started working on Ukraїner as a media project. Through in-depth research, we aim to understand who we are and to put our findings in a mass media format that is accessible for the whole world.
Our first anthropological ethnographic expedition lasted from June 2016 until October 2018 and covered all 16 historic regions of Ukraine, from Slobozhanshchyna to Podillia, and from Volyn to Tavria, excluding the temporarily occupied territories.
Ukraїner tells educational stories — from Ukraine’s farthest corners — about people, art, and business in Ukraine. More than 200 volunteers create these stories for you, showing Ukraine from a different perspective. We are grateful for your interest and support. Your involvement by reading, watching, and sharing our stories is crucial to Ukraїner’s success.