How to protect Ukrainian history against the political manipulation?

How to protect Ukrainian history against the political manipulation?

Center for Urban History of East Central Europe in Lviv is an important advanced institution for protecting history against the political manipulation.

Being founded in founded in 2004 as a private non-profit organisation it is committed to non-material aims.

In all its activities, be they academic or cultural, the Center strives to adhere to principles of openness (toward what is new), tolerance (with regard to difference and diversity) and responsibility (for the future).

As an institute of historical scholarship, it seeks to offer fresh intellectual impulses and help abandon dated questions and preconceived answers. By information and open discussion, they try to help prevent history from being abused for political ends. Through conferences, seminars and exhibitions they hope to promote scholarly and cultural exchange.

They offer young researchers additional opportunities to do advanced, internationally recognized work in their own country, seeking to reduce the “brain drain” emigration of qualified scholars.

Center strives to be a part of contemporary Lviv’s urban society and public, open to diverse communities and in productive cooperation with public and cultural institutions.

As an institute that not only researches the city of the past, but also lives and works in the city of the present, they want to go beyond academic activity and support cultural and other public initiatives, which they see as both valuable and seminal.

Center wants to contribute to Lviv becoming a central site for intellectual, academic and cultural life not only in Ukraine but in Europe.

The specific goals of the Center are also listed in its Foundation Charter of 9 November 2005:

  • To encourage research into the Urban History of East Central Europe through the founding of an academic research institute
  • To anchor Urban Studies as a field of interdisciplinary research in Lviv and East Central Europe through international cooperation with other scholarly institutions
  • To encourage research into the history of Lviv as an urban center of a multi-cultural past and heritage in cooperation with the city’s existing academic institutions
  • To enrich Lviv’s current cultural life by organizing and supporting public events
  • To support an awareness of Ukraine’s European belonging – inside as well as outside Ukraine – through academic research and international cultural exchange, to support Ukraine’s perspective toward membership in the European Union
  • To promote public awareness of the importance of the historic cityscape of Lviv through the gathering and cataloguing of information and documentation, helping to protect and preserve part of Europe’s cultural treasures

The Video Archive of the Center’s for Urban History events provides access to a collection of audiovisual materials, including videos of public lectures, discussions, roundtables, and meetings with historians and remarkable personalities, that have been held at the Center. These materials have been posted online with consent of the participants, and can be used for professional, as well as educational purposes.

“Urban Media Archive” consists of digitized or created in digital formats of visual and audiovisual resources that depict the city and city life of Central and Eastern Europe.

In order to have a critical understanding of the past and to create an open and participatory historical culture in society, the Center initiates and implements projects in the field of public history. Using the different formats for dialogue about the past, among contemporaries, they strive to overcome prejudices and stereotypes, to include in the conversation, as well as in history, new participants, actors and themes. As the academic sphere works with various public environments they pay special attention to issues of heritage and museum practices, digital history and creating new archives, and to the connections between art and complex issues of the past and finally, about the potential of the city and its public spaces.

The Center is located in a historical building of 1905 designed by the noted Lviv secessionist architect Ivan (Jan) Levyns’kyi.

Address: Vul. Akad. Bohomoltsia 6, Lviv 79005, Ukraine
Opening hours: Monday-Friday 10 am – 6 pm
Library hours: Monday-Friday10 am – 5 pm
Exhibition room: Wednesday-Friday 1 pm – 8 pm; Saturday, Sunday 11 am – 5 pm