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Ukrainian Refugees’ Cultural Needs Explored in Study

The cultural needs of Ukrainian refugees and their access to art in Bulgaria are highlighted in a study by the A25 Cultural Foundation, conducted earlier in 2023, the project team said on Thursday. The study is titled “85483”, which was the number of Ukrainians in Bulgaria around the time the project was conceived in 2022.
At present, there are 53,811 of them, and they continue to decrease, because growing numbers of Ukrainians are returning to their country, according to NGOs working with them, quoted by A25.
Access to culture, along with normal living conditions and access to healthcare, is a sign of well-thought-out integration measures. The study clearly shows that culture is a necessity, although inclusion in the cultural system of the receiving society is not considered vital, the foundation said.
The first chapter of the study, written by Anna Danylchuk of Ukraine’s Volyn Foundation, presents a multilayered description of the pre-war cultural situation in Ukraine in terms of policies, governance, consumption and attitudes, in a bid to outline the cultural background of the refugees.
Chapter two, compiled by the A25 team comprising Kremena Hristova, Ina Dublekova and Demna Dimitrova, looks at reactions from the Bulgarian cultural sector and its efforts to promote the long-term inclusion of Ukrainian citizens in the Bulgarian cultural landscape.
Chapter three presents the viewpoint of Ukrainian refugees and their needs, cultural attitudes and interests. The author is Bulgarian sociologist David Kyuranov.
The fourth and last chapter suggests a series of steps for more sustainable integration work of cultural operators.
Based on the study, the A25 Cultural Foundation recommends possible approaches for fairer inclusion of the refugees in Bulgaria’s cultural life. These approaches would not necessarily require changes to public policies as they are based on the current situation and the present capacities of the organizations concerned.