The March-April, 2016 issue of Krytyka opens with an article on “The Society of Missed Opportunities” by Oleksandr Vynohradov, a Ukrainian journalist, translator, ﬁlm critic, editor and screenwriter who examines the absence of ideological and political structures in Ukraine — and its compensation by way of numerous “party chieftains.” Vynohradov also emphasizes the unwillingness of responsible citizens to unite in political parties and considers the chances for the creation of a two-party system by the fall of 2019, when the next elections to the Ukrainian Parliament are to be held.
In “The Ukrainіan State: Social or Socialist?”, Vsevolod Rechytskyi, political scientist and constitutional expert, writes about the recent debate on social rights in the Constitutional Court of Ukraine. His basic argument is that the Constitution of Ukraine, is fatally infected with socialism. Instead of promoting socialist values, he argues, it should be a guarantor of freedom and national prerogatives, and should stimulate competition and initiative.
Vadym Osin, assistant professor of philosophy and social and political sciences at the University of Customs and Finance (Dnipro), explores the politics of knowledge in post-Soviet countries, speciﬁcally through a history of political science. In his article “Autobiographical Narratives of Political Science,” he relies on anonymous interviews with political scientists from diﬀerent regions of Ukraine to parse Ukrainian modern political science through the prism of postcolonial theory. The only way to overcome the complex of post- Soviet political science is to make it truly important to society, and to participate fully in a global intellectual exchange on the essential issues.
The question of identity concern various analysts in this issue. The article “Ukrainian Identity” by the historian Yaroslav Hrytsak ﬁrst appeared in the exhibition catalog Identity. Behind the Curtain of Uncertainty (Nordic, Baltic and Ukrainian contemporary art exhibition at the National Art Museum of Ukraine, 2016). The Ukrainian nation is a young nation with an old history. The role of public art or texts, he argues, is to choose some building blocks from among many to meld into a single dominant discourse.
In her “Women at War: Constructing and Deconstructing Stereotypes,” Iryna Sklokina, a researcher from the Center for Urban History of East Central Europe (Lviv) reviews Women in Central and Eastern Europe in World War ІІ: Gender Specificity Experience in Times of Extreme Violence (Kyiv, 2015). This book brought together under one cover a number of researchers in gender and women’s history studies, as well as historians of World War II.
Hanna Veselovska, theater critic, professor at the Ivan Karpenko-Kary Kyiv National University of Theatre, Film and Television analyzes in her article “The Ukrainian Theater in Search of a Consensus” recent theatrical performances as examples of political reconciliation. The prevalence of communicative principles in theater is prominent in the past two decades. Modern theater often abandons traditional performances, highlights “uncomfortable” topics and sometimes transforms the theater into a genuine locus of active communication.
Oleh Kotsarev, writer, essayist, journalist, critic and translator, explores the literature, history and culture of the twentieth century, including the Ukrainian literary avant-garde. In his essay “Detours Along the Path of the Avant-garde,” he argues that the radical avant-garde had a fraught relationship with the practice of socialist realism that was mandatory after the late 1920s (and virtually to the end of the Soviet period). The major Ukrainian artists were particularly adept at negotiating the problems encountered here.