Темний Рай

Natalka Leshchenko

Folklorist, engaged in research, reconstruction and popularization of traditional Ukrainian culture.
She studied at National Economic University named after Vadym Hetman, majoring in finance (2002-2007) and Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Institute of Philology, majoring in Folklore Studies (2007-2014). She received her post-graduate degree at Rylsky Institute for Art Studies, Folklore and Ethnology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Department of Ukrainian and Foreign Folklore Studies (2014-2018).

She is a researcher at the State Scientific Center for the Protection of Cultural Heritage from Technogenic Disasters (starting with 2007 she worked at the Department of art history and folklore studies, starting with 2012 she works at the Ethnology department). Natalka Leshchenko is the founder of the Workshop of the Ukrainian Holiday and Workshop of the Ukrainian Wedding art associations — experimental and reconstructive work and organization of holidays.
Since 2020 she has been a co-organizer of PlesoFolkArt art photo and video project.
She is the author of concepts of cultural projects to promote Ukrainian culture: calendar and family holidays, festival projects. She worked at the Department of cultural and educational work and public relations of the National Museum of Ukrainian Folk Decorative Art (2011-2013) and on the position of a website editor format.ua (in the structures of the Art Agency and Nash Format publishing house) (2006-2007).

She is the participant of the historical and ethnographic expedition to save the cultural heritage of Chornobyl Polissia within the framework of the programs of the State Scientific Center for the Protection of Cultural Heritage from Technogenic Disasters (2007-2020). The research topics: “Family rituals. Wedding”, “Family rituals. Baptisms”, “Prose folklore”, “Terms of kinship”, “Collection of oral historical materials about the Chornobyl disaster”.

She is the curator of the exhibition of replicas of clothing of the Ukrainian Polissia commissioned by the Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of Poland (Warsaw, Poland, 2017). Co-author of the concept, implementation of Beautiful Chornobyl, the ethnographic and artistic exhibition dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the Chornobyl accident (2016). The exhibition debuted as part of Clouded Lands International Project in Mystetskyi Arsenal (Kyiv) on April 26, 2016. The following expositions of the exhibition: May 2016 — within the frame of the 9th Cultural Festival Ukraińska Wiosna (Poznań city); May-June 2016 — Dom Kultury Śródmieście w Warszawie (Warsaw); August 2016 — Chornobyl Renaissance Festival (Prybirsk village, Ivankivskyi district, Kyiv region); September 2016 — within the frame of the Gogolfest-2016 Festival (Kyiv).
Curator of From the Country to Ukraine, the ethnographic part of the traveling educational festival (2015-2016) (trips to the frontline zone in eastern Ukraine).

Author of the concept and co-organizer of Dytiacha Haliavyna (children’s meadow) at Kraina Mriy Festival (dreamland) (2013-2016). Author and implementer of Povernennia do Dzherel (return to sources) the social cultural and educational project for children from rural areas of Ukraine (2012-2013) (familiarization with folk art). Co-founder, co-organizer of Trypilske Kolo International Eco-Cultural Festival (Trypillian Circle) (2007-2011). Co-organizer of Etnoevoluitsiia Traveling Folklore Festival (Ethnoevolution) (2006-2007). Assistant director of Kupalski Ihryshcha Folk Festival (Kupala games) — under the patronage of Nina Matvienko (2006). Head of the volunteer team at Karnavalia Charity Ball at Kyiv city administration held by the Mystetska Skarbnytsia Foundation (2007-2008). Co-author of the concept and co-organizer of Kobzar Triitsia Art Festival (Kobzar Trio), popularization of Kobzar craft, restoration of Kobzar workshops in Ukraine (2008-2009). Contractor for the implementation of the project of Days of the Diaspora in Ukraine Government Program of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine of (2008).