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  • Writer's pictureDUA Team

Vigil For Ukraine: 2 Years of Full-Scale Russian War

Updated: Mar 27

Exeter, Devon – Amidst the beginning of the 2nd year of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, a vigil for Ukraine will take place at Exeter's city centre on the 24th of February. Organised by the local Ukrainian community at Devon Ukrainian Association, and the local artists at Maketank, the vigil will start with a rally at Bedford Square, followed by a short prayer and a set of arts activities at St. Stephens Church.

In partnership with the Exeter City of Literature and the University of Exeter, the vigil joins the worldwide Ukrainian War Time Poetry reading event, 'Reading For Odesa'. This cultural event will take place simultaneously in Milan and in 14 other UNESCO Creative Cities of Literature that have joined the initiative: Wroclaw, Krakow, Edinburgh, Exeter, Iasi City, Kuhmo, Lillehammer, Ljubljana, Manchester, Melbourne, Nottingham, Quebec City, Reykjavik, Tukums. These readings will also accompany children's drawings to be sent to Ukrainian soldiers on the frontlines.  It will feature the following poets from Odesa: Yury Mykhailik (Юрий Михайлик), Ludmila Sharga (Людмила Шарга), Andrei Khayetskyi (Андрей Хаецкий), Vlada Ilyinska (Влада Ильинская), and Nikita Gerus, 9 year old. (Никита Герус, 9 лет). Professor Hugh Roberts from the Languages, Cultures and Visual Studies department will read poetry from Maksym Kryvtsov and Artur Dron in English. More about Worldwide Readings can be found here:

The event will be filmed and streamed on Social Media. We will use the following hashtags in our social campaigns: #ReadingForOdesa #JustWords. Social page addresses on which the event will be broadcast: @DevonUkrainian on Instagram and Facebook. 

We will also use this chance to announce the Ukrainian war poetry/Bridging communities project that we are starting in March.  It is a joint project between the University of Exeter, Devon Ukrainian Association and Maketank Cultural Lab. This project is forming a translation collective of Ukrainian war poetry with two objectives - first of all, to explore translation as a method of community building, support, and integration, and second objective is to show solidarity with soldier-poets and other activists in Ukraine by amplifying their voices to an English-speaking audience. The Languages, Cultures and Visual Studies team have been entrusted with very recently published collections of Ukrainian war poetry, including by the soldier-poet Artur Dron’. 

When & Where:

Please join us for a rally in support of Ukraine at Bedford Square on Saturday, 24 February at 2:30 pm

We will then move into St. Stephens Church at 3:30 pm for a short prayer and arts activities, including ‘Reading For Odesa’.

More information about ‘Reading For Odesa’ can be found here.


Maketank is a cultural laboratory for social change, located in the city centre of Exeter. It serves as a creative home for local and artistic communities to generate culture that moves people. We believe that there is a synergetic relationship between thriving artists and thriving communities.

The Devon Ukrainian Association was established to build a thriving Ukrainian community in Devon by creating platforms where people meet, exchange and help each other. We focus on the needs of newly arrived people from Ukraine and opportunities to amplify their voices concerning their wellbeing which is inextricably linked to Ukraine's fight for freedom and independence.


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