The Ark Ukraine is a project about initiation. As if a capsule launched into space, it houses essential information. Like the starter dough a grandmother leaves in her bowl for the next generation’s bread. Like the pearls of traditional treasures a young woman commits to her hope chest. These are the greatest grains from the granary.
The Tree of Life is often embroidered on traditional Ukrainian wedding cloths. Alongside this Tree are two birds who guard the Flower of Life. Like these birds, we seek to protect what is at the very core of Ukraine’s unique tree and preserve the ancient purity of this flower – even in this age of cosmic odyssey.
This is why we have gathered our treasures aboard The Ark Ukraine — as a means of preserving the seeds of Ukraine’s cultural harvests so that they may be the pillars upon which Ukraine’s future will be built. We invite you to board this hope chest of a boat-museum, to touch its Truth and discover it within yourself.
The Ark Ukraine is meant to evoke the ancient Greek eternal provocation “know thyself” as from the Apollo temple in Delphi. How can Ukrainians know and cherish themselves if their true legacy has never been known to them?
Our history has been falsified for centuries, our historical identity and our historical name Rus has been taken away from us, we have been forbidden to speak our language and honor our heroes. So we, the descendants of great kings and hetmans, the citizens of the largest European country with more than a thousand years of history, now stand with our memory invasively wiped out, not recognizing the ground upon which we stand, where our home is, lost and confused in a collective Alzheimer’s in the middle of Europe.
We have long been a nation without a recognized state, hidden in the shadows of a bloody empire; the largest country in Europe in fact, not that many have noticed. And even now that our state is recognized, it is so as being “under construction,” so pardon our appearance and please excuse the temporary detours through occupied territories, anti-terrorist operations, hybrid wars that obscure the majesty our true historical legacy and our future.
But the time has come to proclaim our truth at the top of our lungs; that we have the right to be ourselves. The time has come to rediscover our own country; to remember the great victories and glorious campaigns of our ancestors, to rally around our own unique culture and in the names of great Ukrainians. Because who they were dwells within us. Just as Joseph Roth wrote, "life is so clearly connected with death and the living with their dead that there is no end, no break, but there is eternal continuation and eternal connection."
Through preserving connections and ensuring their continuation, Ukraine will have the legacy of its own future.
the founder of Ark Ukraine Yaryna Vynnytska
translation into English by Julie-Anne Franko