All-Ukrainian scientific conference dedicated to the 140th anniversary of Olha Duchyminska's birth "The Spirit of Slavery Does Not Know Me"

On June 8, the Institute of Ethnology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine hosted the All-Ukrainian Scientific Conference on the 140th anniversary of Olha Duchyminska's birth, "The Spirit of Slavery Does Not Know Me." The scientific event was held in a combined format: in person and remotely on the Zoom platform.

Conference co-organizers: NGO Union of Ukrainian Women, Department of Education and Science of the Lviv Regional State Administration, Institute of Ethnology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Ivan Franko Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.

Olha Duchyminska is a Ukrainian writer, literary critic, translator, journalist, public school teacher, cultural and educational activist, researcher of folklore, ethnographic and artistic monuments of the Hutsul and Boikivshchyna regions, and an active organizer of the women's movement in Galicia.

"Only an independent woman will give her nation a personality with a burning desire for freedom and independence." This guideline is still relevant today. Olga Duchyminska conducted extensive educational work among rural women, taught them to read and write, conducted hygiene and home economics courses, raised funds for the education of gifted children from poor peasant families, was a guardian of orphans, a sister of mercy, and organized kindergartens. During the First World War, she was often at the front, collecting gifts for the Ukrainian Sich Riflemen, in whose ranks her brother Bohdan fought, as the head of the Red Cross branch, and helping her husband, who was the commandant of Bolekhiv at the time. Today, we are experiencing similar war times, when many women and children left their land and homes to save their lives. Olga called on her compatriots: "...And you, come back to Ukraine, love and serve it!" And today we send this call to Ukrainians in Europe and other continents. We thank the Armed Forces of Ukraine for fighting for freedom and bringing the Victory closer," said Orystlava Sydorchuk, head of the Ukrainian Women's Union.

The scientific coordinator of the conference, as well as the moderator of the plenary session, was Alla Shvets, Deputy Head of the NGO Union of Ukrainian Women, Doctor of Philology, who noted: "Olha Duchyminska is a person who lived through an entire era, times of historical events and significant national changes, and was closely acquainted with all the prominent creators of Ukrainian history and state-building, prominent writers and cultural figures of her time. She went through the hardships of the war and Stalin's camps, and endured the wanderings after being banned from returning home. But despite everything, she survived, overcame hopelessness, and set an example of her own indomitability, exceptional humanity, and life-affirming conviction: "Nothing will break me in life." These words are the leitmotif of the current victorious idea of Ukrainians."

Oreslava Khomyk, Honorary Chairman of the Union of Ukrainian Women, delivered a welcoming speech: "Olga Duchyminska really wanted to be a teacher, she was interested in the village, the people, and wanted to work for them. She always raised issues of national education and emphasized that Ukrainian children should study in a Ukrainian school and in the Ukrainian language. Today, the problems of education are very relevant. The Department of Education and Science of the Lviv Regional State Administration is working hard to motivate teachers to work as hard as Olga Duchyminska did. We all need to understand that, in addition to parents, it is the teacher who educates the nation, and treat educational issues as personal."


At the plenary session, Olha Duchyminska's grandson, Ivan Myhul, PhD, professor, rector of the Ukrainian Free University (2008-2011), made a touching reminiscence.

Stepan Pavliuk delivered a report titled "Olha Duchyminska Manifested as the Good Spirit of the Museum of Ethnography and Arts and Crafts (based on the review of unpublished letters)." Svitlana Kyryliuk presented her report "Olha Kobylianska and Olha Duchyminska: "prose" of life and "life" of prose".

The conference was divided into three sections:

  • "I Love to Love People: Olga Duchyminska in Relationships with Contemporaries.
  • "I Loved Truth and Beauty": Olga Duchyminska's Creative Worlds.
  • "A Woman Who Had Her Own World in Her Soul": Olga Duchyminska's memorial, epistolary, and reception.

We thank Maria Vuyanko, head of the Ivano-Frankivsk branch of the Union, and Maria Hnatiuk, head of the Kolomyia organization, for participating in the conference. We thank the participants from Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernivtsi, Kolomyia, Lviv, and Kyiv for opening up unknown pages of Olha Duchyminska's life.