Saturday, 16 February 2013

Edmonton Shevchenko Event 2013

Can you imagine telling your child, or any child for that matter, to stop being artistic? To stop drawing, to stop painting, to stop versifying?  Can you imagine your child being held in serfdom for years - picking up after the "boss" and polishing shoes, folding undergarments for a grown man?  

This was the experience of the little boy who was Taras Hryhorievych Shevchenko.  Born in 1814, and left an orphan by the early passing of his parents, he was caught in the spiral of serfdom.  He was a slave.  A little boy, a slave.  

In today's terms, his childhood was stolen by a system of serfdom he had no hope of escaping.  But he did.  Moments of benevolent care made it possible for him to draw, to paint, to rhyme - and somehow his brilliance caught the attention of a person who could rescue him from a life of servitude.  

He was bought out of serfdom while a student at the St. Petersburg Academy of Art - a serf under the Russian Empire - freed by friends and patrons who saw the huge potential of his genius.  He was a romantic, reveling in the history and folklore of his ancestry, caught in nostalgia, but urged by contemporary events to a more somber portrayal of Ukrainian History.  For this he was forced into exile and compulsory military service.  His crime?  To write the true stories of his people, he wrote about the relationship of the ruling empire and oppression of the land and people of his ancestry.  

Forbidden to write, what is an artist to do?  Trapped by circumstances, his creative juices treated historical and moral issues which resonate in the Ukrainian world today.  They resonate as human rights issues the world over.  The resonate for women, for children and for politicians.   

The Ukrainian Music Society of Alberta and the Ukrainian Canadian Congress-Edmonton Branch invite you to the Shevchenko Concert on Sunday, March 10 at 2:30 PM at the Ukrainian Youth Unity Complex, 9615-153 Ave. Edmonton. 

Tickets may be purchased at Ukrainian Social Services - 11717-97 Street or 780-471-4477

Meest - 10834-97 Street - or 780-424-1777

Orbit - 10219-97 Street or 780-422-5693

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