On the 20th of September, a meeting of students with a prominent American writer and journalist, historian and Pulitzer award laureate Anne Applebaum was held in the Mirror Hall of University with the support of the US Center for American Studies and the US Embassy in Ukraine. Anne Applebaum is the guest of honor at the Lviv Book Forum.
Anne Applebaum – the author of the book about the history of Central and Eastern Europe among which is “Gulag” (Gulag: A History, Pulitzer Prize 2004), “Iron Curtain”, 2013, “Red Famine. Stalin’s War on Ukraine”, 2017. Within the framework of this year’s Book Forum a presentation of the Ukrainian-language edition of her book “Red Famine. Stalin’s War on Ukraine” is in-depth research that has already taken its place in the world studios of the Holodomor in Ukraine.
Vice-Rector for Scientific Pedagogical Work and International Cooperation Maria Zubrytska together with the Dean of the Faculty of Foreign Affairs, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Ukraine, Professor Markian Malskii greeted the esteemed guest, who started the meeting with a short description of her biography and events which bound her journalistic and writer activities with Western Europe and Ukraine in particular.
Most of the meeting took place in the format of a dynamic university dialogue. It began, naturally, with the discussion of the presented book “Red Famine. The Stalin’s War Against Ukraine”, which, since its release in 2017, has caused widespread resonance in Ukraine and beyond. According to Anne Applebaum, journalists in the United States wrote about the “Red Famine” the most actively. The book that makes Americans think about the tragedy in Ukraine, of which many of them have not even heard before. From Russia, however, there were no reviews: “They do not like facts that tell a story different from their knowledge. In the book, I identify the Holodomor as a genocide”, – said the writer.
Students were also interested in identification and effective counteraction to modern propaganda. “Propaganda in the 21st century differs significantly from propaganda in the 20th century,” said Ann Applebaum. – People are already able to distinguish real information from the fake. How to deal with it? First, we need to be conscious of manipulation. Today, thanks to its smartphone, each of us become a journalist and publisher. When people are aware of the problem, this is the beginning of its solution. ” The journalist also recommended that the news be regularly monitored and upgraded.
A logical continuation of the discussion about modern information influences was the guest’s thoughts on freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Anne Applebaum is certain that censorship limits the journalist: “Freedom means free speech, not restricted by law.”
The writer noticed the so-called “stable mentality” in Ukrainians – our values do not collapse, and the idea does not die. Thanks to the cultural activities that develop the society, our independence is created. The journalist stressed that the distinction between independence in the Ukrainian and American – in the desire: “In the United States everything is built around the Constitution, it is a law, a kind of law. In Ukraine, independence is built by people, their goals and desires. “
At the end of the meeting, Vice-Rector Mariya Zubrytska thanked Ann Applebaum for spreading her knowledge about the Holodomor as the most tragic page of modern Ukrainian history and handed her a memorable medal of Ivan Franko.