« 2018. #6 (144)

The Ethnology Notebooks. 2018, 6 (144), 1385–1393

UDK 766:7.012-027.3(477)


Received 21.11.2018



Kosiv Vasyl Mykhailovych, Candidate of Art Studies, Associate Professor,

The Department of Graphic Design,

Lviv National Academy of Arts.

38 Kubiiovycha Str., 79011, Lviv, Ukraine.


Abstract. Based on the examples of graphic design of the Ukrainian diaspora from 1945—1989, the combination of religious and national symbols in visualizing Ukrainian identity have been analyzed. Covers of periodicals, postcards, commissioned by secular organizations, show how religious symbols accompanied visual messages about Ukraine and Ukrainians. On the other hand, in church publications, national symbols supplemented communication on religious themes. Such mutual penetration of symbolism reflected the Christian education of the authors and their audience, the practice of defining national history with religious metaphors, as well as the generally acknowledged mission of both Ukrainian Orthodox and Ukrainian Catholic churches of national identity preservation and the upbringing of patriotism in the community. For the Ukrainian diaspora, national aspects of the church life often predominated over the confessional, almost all misunderstandings and conflicts concerned the Ukrainian character of the Church. In their graphic design, Mykhailo Dmytrenko, Mykhailo Mykhalevych, Myron Levytsky, Mykola Butovych, Petro Andrusiv, Leonid Denysenko, and other authors modify established iconographic schemes and create new ones. It is noted that the most fruitful period of the construction of hybrid symbols was the preparation for the 1000th anniversary of the Christianity in Ukraine (1988) when numerous combinations of the trident and the cross appeared. Most examples show that the unique messages are constructed not so much by the semantics of the symbols (which were quite common), but with the syntax of visual communication, that is, their combinations. It is revealed that among all the visual features of Ukrainian identity in graphic design, the religious aspect evokes the greatest difference between the works of Soviet Ukraine and the Ukrainian diaspora.

Keywords: religious and national symbols, Ukrainian identity, graphic design, Ukrainian diaspora.


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