At the heart of a new Ukraine, as poetically as politically, the work of Volodymyr Bilyk, and it’s worldwide repute, as is tied to the new possibilities of technology in the 21st century as it is the quality and innovation that defines it. Bilyk is the new face of a nation whose poetic history is as often entrenched as its political, and his groundbreaking visual, minimalist, conceptual, sound and artpoetry has been published across the globe, due in no small part to his willingness to embed himself within internet culture and its potentialities. Moreover, his immediacy as a poet, as evident in his poetics as in his colloquially eloquent, unpretentious mode and manner, reveals itself as the expression of an individual willing to commit utterly to the ideal of democratic freedom in his homeland. This interview is conducted during the unyielding protests, and the resultant government violence and oppression, wracking the Ukraine in late 2013 / early 2014, of which Volodymyr Bilyk, the 98th respondent of the Maintenant series, is a central and formidable part.
“Q - As we finish this interview, on February 19th 2014, Europe awakes to the news that yesterday was the bloodiest day in the battle for Ukraine’s democratic future, with 26 dead by latest news estimates. There is the sense now that these protests, lasting months already will not just fizzle out and be swept away, like so many others have in Western Europe and America over the last few years. What is the feeling in Kyiv towards this and the immediate future?
A - I can describe it as “We shall overcome!” and “No pasaran!”. It is “the end of something” and “It's the beginning of a new age”....
At the foot of the interview there are multiple links to Volodymyr’s work online, I recommend you check it out, including this, previously published on 3am magazine http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/volodymyr-bilyk & here is a link to one of Volodymyr’s recent statements on the Maidan protests http://blutkitt.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/volodymyr-bilyk-statement-collaborations.html
& here, published almost exactly 3 years ago, my Maintenant interview, number #53, with another powerful Ukrainian poet, offering his own voice of resistance to the current protests, Yuri Andrukhovych http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/maintenant-53-yuri-andrukhovych
I would recommend reading Yuri’s recent piece for the New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/30/opinion/love-and-hatred-in-kiev.html?_r=0