Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute's

Latest News
Maria Sonevytsky Interviewed on NPR about DakhaBrakha’s Message for U.S. Audiences
April 21, 2022

Maria Sonevytsky (Ph.D. Ethnomusicology, ’12; Associate Professor of Anthropology and Music, Bard College) comments on the Ukrainian band DakhaBrakha and the significance of their current U.S. tour,

“I think one of the most powerful things that DakhaBrakha can offer is that they show both that there is a very rich past in Ukraine, and they show this by bringing together a diversity of musical practices from different regions of Ukraine, from different ethnic groups within Ukraine,” Sonevytsky says. “And they fuse them together in a beautiful way that also suggests a future for Ukraine. It gives the lie to Putin’s propaganda that Ukraine has no culture or history of its own.”

“In fact,” Sonevytsky continues, “what we see in DakhaBrakha’s artistry is a deeply heterogeneous and complex history, the inheritance of multiple imperial experiences, the long history of attempts for Ukrainian sovereignty, and they blend together these kind of fractured pasts into a beautiful whole that is not simple, and it can’t be simply reduced down to a story of one nation that is occupied by one people, but instead suggests a vibrant, if imperfect, democracy.”