Volodymyr Yermolenko

Period of Stay: 
1 December 2023 - 30 November 2024
National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy

Dr. Volodymyr Yermolenko (born 1980) is a Ukrainian philosopher, journalist and writer. President of PEN Ukraine. Doctor of political studies (France), PhD in philosophy (kandydat nauk, Ukraine). Analytics director at Internews Ukraine, one of the biggest and oldest Ukrainian media NGOs. Chief editor of UkraineWorld.org, a multimedia project in English about Ukraine. Associate professor at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. Book writer (non-fiction and fiction), winner of Myroslav Popovych Prize (2021), Petro Mohyla Prize (2021), Yurii Sheveliov Prize (2018), Book of the Year prize in Ukraine (2018, 2015) and others. Head of board of International Renaissance Foundation (OSI Network). Public lecturer. Expert in information analysis and media literacy; architect and trainer at several media literacy projects within the activity of Internews Ukraine and UkraineWorld. Co-founder and author of podcasts Kult:Podcast (in Ukrainian) and Explaining Ukraine (in English). Anchorman of TV programmes Ukraina Rozumna and Hromadske.Svit at Hromadske.ua (2016-2020). Author of numerous articles in international and Ukrainian media. Published in The Economist, Le Monde, Financial Times, New York Times, Newsweek, gave numerous comments to BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, France 24 etc. His texts and interviews have been published in Ukrainian, English, French, German, Polish, Italian, Russian, Dutch, Norwegian, Czech, Greek, Chinese and others. Father of three daughters. 

Project Title: 
War as Experience and Meaning
Project Abstract: 

I am a Ukrainian philosopher, journalist and civic activist, president of PEN Ukraine, associate professor at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, founder and the chief editor of UkraineWorld.org. Despite Russia's full-scale invasion, I stayed in Ukraine with my family (wife and three children) and continued my university teaching at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, continued my writing and civic activities. Throughout this time we have travelled a lot through Ukraine, to the war zones, frontline areas, very close to border with Russia and Russian-occupied lands. During these trips I have reported for UkraineWorld, collected human stories of war, provided aid to both Ukrainian civilians and military, and took an active engaged position. But I have also started two new books, each of them is closely related to the war. The focus of my thinking and writing today, as a philosopher, is to connect experience and meaning. My philosophy does not come from an abstract reflection, it comes from direct experience of war, from human stories, from people's suffering and their capacity to live despite the war. But my writing today is simply not a reportage, it is a search for a meaning through this experience, it is a search for reality which, as Goethe once said, "already is a theory". It is a research and writing which connects reality and ideas.