Award-winning Ukrainian author joins BBC correspondent and poet to reflect on recent events at upcoming talk 

In a one-off event at the University of Chichester, award-winning author Volodymyr Rafeienko will join the BBC’s Fergal Keane and poet Sasha Dugdale in discussing writing, wartime and human connection against the backdrop of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

Rafeienko, who was recently awarded a digital writing residency by the University of Chichester, will be joining remotely from Poland where he is currently based. He said: “In times of peace and hours of war, literature retains its constant purpose. It is the means of recreating and preserving the human in humanity. It’s harder to write in war, but that’s because living through war is also much harder.” 

Recognised in Ukraine as one of its leading writers, Rafeienko wrote in Russian until fleeing the Donetsk region to Kyiv, following attacks by Russian-backed separatists in 2014. 

Joining him will be BAFTA award winning correspondent Fergal Keane, who has spent his career reporting from warzones and has recently released his book The Madness detailing how witnessing such sights has impacted his own mental health. 

Sasha Dugdale, poet and translator famed for her translations of contemporary female Russian poets, will also be joining the conversation. 

The event is a collaboration between the University, the Rathbones Folio Prize and the Stephen Spender Trust, and is supported through the UK/Ukraine Season of Culture by the British Council and the Ukrainian Institute. It is open to all with an interest in literature and the current political climate and promises to provide a thought-provoking evening of discussion and connection.  

Unfortunately the event due to take place on Tuesday 21st February 2023:  Writing, War, Connection – a reflection of recent events, will no longer be able to go ahead as regrettably Fergal Keane has had to withdraw from the panel.

 We are hoping to reschedule the event, details to follow.

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