ZMINA joined the co-organisation of the Crimean Stage of the Kraina Mriy Festival. How did it go?

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Kraina Mriy (Country of dreams) is an international ethnic festival that took place for the twentieth time this year in Kyiv on June 21-23. The slogan of this year’s festival was “20 years of freedom!”, and the programme included performances by Ukrainian and foreign artists of various musical genres, ethno DJs, dance and singing workshops, master classes, art exhibitions, theatre performances, screenings and much more.

Photo: Mission of the President of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea

ZMINA joined the co-organisation of the Crimean location of the festival – Bağçasaray. The Crimean Stage introduced the guests of the event to the work of Crimean Tatar musicians who had left the Crimean peninsula because of the war. The Crimean Stage also invited guests to discussions titled “Endangered: The Language of the Crimean Tatars” and “On the Road to Crimea: Literature as a Bond and Roots”.

The founder and director of the festival, Oleh Skrypka, called the Crimean Stage one of the veterans of the ethno-festival movement, as Crimea was represented at the festival even before Russia’s temporary occupation of the Crimean peninsula.

First of all, the guests were able to see a photo exhibition with stories about the military men from Crimea who stood up to defend the Ukrainian state and an exhibition from Human Rights Centre ZMINA “Stories from occupied Crimea”.

In addition, Kyiv residents and guests of the festival were invited to write letters to Crimean political prisoners within the framework of the Letters to a Free Crimea campaign.

Viktoriia Nesterenko, a project manager of ZMINA and a human rights defender, shares: “Festival visitors mostly reacted positively to the opportunity to support political prisoners. Of course, it was a surprise for many, because the festival is about culture and music in general”.

During the three days of the festival, visitors wrote 160 letters to the Crimean prisoners illegally detained by Russia.

You can join in writing letters to Crimean political prisoners until the end of this year. You can find the details and join the campaign here.

More about the festival and the Crimean Stage can be found here and here.