On March 30, 2021, Yuri Shevchuk gave a zoom-talk “Language in the Contemporary Cinema of Ukraine” to students and faculty of the Media Communications Department of the National Karazin University (Kharkiv, Ukraine). He discussed a host of issues that are at the heart of the contemporary Ukrainian identity formation. They included: language as an attribute of national cinema, how Oleksander Dovzhenko, the founder of Ukrainian cinema, instrumentalized language as a tool of identity formation and decolonization, how various language codes (Russian, Ukrainian and surzhyk, i.e. the macaronic mixture of the two, were used in the Soviet era and are still used today to portray three principal imperial stereotypes of Ukrainians (Little Russians, Mazepists, and khokhols), how the new genre of the Ukrainian “patriotic” war film represented by the popular war drama Cyborgs (2018) is in fact a vehicle for Russian hybrid war. The talk was based on Yuri Shevchuk’s recently published study of how language has been used in Ukrainian film since the 1920s until now, the first such in-depth analysis of this issue in Ukrainian film and language studies. The talk provoked a lively discussion. Yuri Shecvhuk was invited to give the same talk at the Kharkiv National University of Culture. It will take place in the format of a zoom-webinar on April 9, 2021.
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