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You're reading: Motyl: The Holodomor symphony

How did a young Austrian composer decide to write a symphony about a famine-genocide in Ukraine in 1932–1933?

An artist can inspire the public and get it to question its assumptions, either through the sheer aesthetic force of his work or by means of the self-reflective process that his work induces. And if art can affect the individual, then it can also affect society. An ethically grounded artist who knows this has an obligation to create in full cognizance of the impact his art can have.

As one of the 20th century’s most horrible and internationally least recognized crimes, the Holodomor demands artistic treatment, because it’s imperative both to give voice to justice and truth and to enable Ukraine to deal objectively with its past. Coming to terms with its past is the precondition of Ukraine’s social, economic, and political development, inasmuch as the past, present, and future are inextricably interconnected.

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