The bears inside of us

01 March 2016

About festival's symbol


“The Olympic Mishka” (Olympic bear) is the mascot of 1980 Moscow Olympic Games, one of the happiest episodes in life of the Soviet Union. You can still see those “mishkas” all over Ukraine - on the driveway to Kyiv, in parks and on the streets.


These smiling bears are stuck in our heads as a coded illusion of welfare based on double standards.


These bears in everyone of us can easily do everything we’re trying to fight: they bribe, “sort things out” and praise the soviet regime that seems to have had stability and security in future.


These bears represent Ukrainian voters, soft and fluffy, who vote for their future and sell their votes on the way with guilty smiles. Or honestly vote for those who already fooled them many times.


We have chosen the “The Olympic Mishkas” as a Docudays UA 2016 symbol to help us get over the political hypnosis and illusions, over the belief that someone is going to solve our problems for us.


Our bears are empty inside; they should finally mean that we’re saying goodbye to the past that this agonising neighbour empire is trying to drag us into. We’re saying goodbye for the new responsibilities to come, new important work to fill our lives: creating our own symbols and codes, based on our values.


About festival's concept


We have chosen the theme “THROUGH ILLUSIONS” because we feel like the whole world is trying to break though illusions to some new civilization order. Countries and nations are leaving many of their illusions nowadays.

The illlusion of stability of the world order that democratic countries have agreed on is falling apart. The world’s illusion about weak Ukraine and Ukrainians not capable of self-organization is gone. Ukrainian illusions about international institutions in the UN system ensuring the world order without war and aggression for human rights protection are gone too.


Europe and America are leaving the illusion of the democratic values and human rights being a guaranteed universality for the whole world. They are also leaving the illusion about possibility of agreement and cooperation with imperial Russia.


The problem of migration has become urgent for the whole world nowadays. Will the hopes of those who run to Europe from war be justified? Will the EU pass this migration test and stick to the main value of human rights? Are war conflicts the only cause of modern Asian migration? Or there are also global ecnomic and political processes where transnational corporations’ interests don’t agree with human rights?


In addition to cross-border migration Ukraine has internal migration now. This is a new for Ukrainiam society category of people - internally dismissed persons. We still don’t have any proper government program to help IDPs integrate in local society. The government stays under illusion that people can handle it by themselves. IDPs live under illusions of going home soon, of going back to life they had before war. Meanwile inside of these migration processes new problems arise: social apathy or even xenophobia and chauvinism.


How do all these processes influence our future?


Like revolutionaries of all times, Ukrainian Maidan heroes are hoping for quick changes in the country. Lustration haven’t happened yet, killers of the Heavenly hundred still aren’t punished, and the local elections on the 25th of October were won by the same corruptionists against whom the whole Ukraine arose two years ago. Revolutionaries are talking about the third Maidan louder and louder. The question is, whether it is going to solve Ukrainian problems or it’s just another illusion?


At the same time new fundamental question arises: isn’t it time for the governmemt and the society to get rid of the illusion that it is possible to reform the country in everyone’s interests without changing basic relations in fields of work and property? Maybe this way through the thick jungle of the oligarch regime is our main exam in civic maturity that will lay the base for true democracy and protected human rights.


During 2016 festival we invite you to join the directors, human rights activists and experts from different countries, ukrainian officials and Maidan revolutionaries in attemnt of an intelluctual break THROUGH ILLUSIONS. Join!


The organizing committee of the festival

April 2021