city silhouette

About the Project

about collage

Kyiv is a city one can walk, admire or study, and now one can READ Kyiv. In the city space we have installed 20 letter-plates with quotations from Ukrainian writers about Kyiv and its iconic locations. Our project may interest both those who are unfamiliar with the image of Kyiv in Ukrainian literature and those who would like to know more about the city and its texts. For Kyivites we will open our hometown in a new way and for the guests our project will present the true Kyivan spirit.

For your convenience, you can find a map accompanying each text of theKyiv Letterssection, which would help to find the letterplates and make the route from Pechersk to Podil in a couple of hours.

Why is this project important?

Today, on the thirtieth year of Ukrainian independence, the symbolic space of Kyiv is insufficiently included into the actual Ukrainian cultural context. There is still an opinion about mostly ‘rural’ Ukrainian literature, where there is no place for urban poetics. However, this is not the case. Already at the beginning of the 20th century, Ukrainian culture presented not just individual works about the city, but full-fledged urban literature. In addition, Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa, and Lviv have always been powerful centers for Ukrainian cultural life. The unique face of Kyiv, its ancient history and special atmosphere have inspired dozens of Ukrainian writers to beautiful lines and whole texts, where the city itself appears not just as a landscape, but as a character of the work. However, works presenting the image of Kyiv have not yet become widely known and recognizable.

How to read Kyiv?

Reading Kyiv Project aims to promote the Ukrainian identity of the city. The envelope-plates contain not only quotations from Ukrainian writers about Kyiv, but also special QR-codes leading to this web-site. Here you can read the whole text of the work in question, learn more about the author and the location mentioned in their texts.

These quotations are like letters left by people who lived in the city 20, 50 or 100 years ago and still loved and adored Kyiv.

There is more than one way to read Kyiv:

  • walk the whole path and find all 20 quotation-plates;
  • browse our web-site and take an online quiz to check your awareness;
  • read the Facebook feed
  • follow the project on Instagram @readingkyiv.

Reading? Kyiv!

The project is carried out by the civic organization “Sotsialnyi Kapital” with the support of Ukrainian Cultural Foundation. CO “Sotsialnyi Kapital” is an association of culture activists and creative industries.

Reading Kyiv Team:

  • Daria Lysenko

    A co-author of the project

    Art historian-medievalist, Germanist, artist, and writer. Daria was born in Kyiv. She has lived and studied in Ukraine, Serbia and Croatia. She completed her bachelor’s studies at the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, continued her studies at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in University of Zagreb, where she obtained a master’s degree in art history and a master’s degree in German language and literature. She works as a researcher at the National Art Museum of Ukraine
  • Victoria Nazarenko

    A co-author of the project

    Ukrainian philologist, candidate of philological sciences, editor. Born and raised in Kyiv, Victoria graduated from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. She collaborates as a literary and scientific editor with the publishing houses “KM-books”, “Vydavnytstvo”, and “Bilka”. She works as a scientific editor at the National Art Museum of Ukraine.
  • Maria Stasenko

    The project administrator

    Master of Philology in English Language and Literature. Born and raised in Kyiv, Maria graduated from Borys Hrinchenko University of Kyiv. She works as a translator and event manager at the PR agency “G.E.M.”
  • Halyna Verheles

    The project designer

    a student of the National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture in the field of book graphics in the studio of Halyna Halynska, illustrator, teacher of graphics and drawing at the Kyiv Art School № 9. Born in Vinnytsia, Halyna now lives and studies in Kyiv. She works with both children and adult literature.