Virtual Conversation | Thursday, September 21, 2023

Sustaining Culture in Times of Current and Past Conflicts

In Collaboration with the Asia Society, Cambodia Living Arts, the International House at the University of Chicago, Mystetskyi Arsenal, and the NYU Brademas Center

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In honor of International Day of Peace, OneShared.World invites you to experience Sustaining Culture in Times of Current and Past Conflicts, featuring Olesia Ostrovska, Director General, The Arsenal, Kyiv, Ukraine, and Phloeun Prin, Executive Director, Cambodia Living Arts, in conversation with OneShared.World founder Jamie Metzl.

War has torn countries apart century after century. The sad result is the damage it does to the country’s history and culture.  This discussion focuses on the efforts of two committed arts leaders who are doing what they can to save the culture of their countries. They have reached backward to ensure that what has been destroyed is not forever lost. They are stretching forward to envision the future of their culture when freedom permits them to not only survive but to flourish.

Olesia Ostrovska is working to maintain Ukraine’s largest cultural organization and playing a significant role in keeping Ukraine’s culture alive during the Russian invasion. Phloeun Prin has worked to save and revitalize Cambodia’s culture in response to the Khmer Rouge, a brutal regime that ruled Cambodia from 1975 to 1979 and sought to destroy the culture of Cambodia.


Olesia Ostrovska-Liuta

Director General, National Art and Culture Museum Complex “Mystetskyi Arsenal” (Art Arsenal), Ukraine

Until recently, Ostrovska-Liuta was a Board member of the Ukrainian Institute and the East Europe Foundation, as well as the head of the Program Board, Social Capital program, at the International Renaissance Foundation. She was a founding member of Culture2025, an independent platform for the development of a national strategy for culture. During 2014, Ms. Ostrovska-Liuta served as the First Deputy Minister of Culture of Ukraine. As the Deputy Minister, she supported the participative development of the national strategy for culture and development of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation, she also advocated autonomy for the institutions of culture and equal rights for state-owned and civil society institutions of culture.

Phloeun Prin

Executive Director, Cambodian Living Arts

Phloeun has spearheaded Cambodian Living Arts’ transformation from a grassroots project reviving traditional arts to the leading cultural agency in Cambodia. As someone born during the genocide, Phloeun is proud to have returned to Cambodia and be part of the movement to use the arts for healing, social transformation, and economic development. He is passionate about encouraging today’s expression but remains inspired by the first work of CLA, the work of reviving oral transmission. These efforts have been completely essential because the Khmer Rouge, a brutal regime that ruled Cambodia, under the leadership of Marxist dictator Pol Pot, from 1975 to 1979, sought to destroy the culture of Cambodia. Pol Pot’s attempts to create a Cambodian “master race” through social engineering ultimately led to the deaths of more than 2 million people in the Southeast Asian country. Those killed were either executed as enemies of the regime or died from starvation, disease, or overwork.

Jamie Metzl

Founder and Chair, OneShared.World

Jamie Metzl is a leading technology and healthcare futurist, bestselling author, and keynote speaker on the future of AI, healthcare, technology, and business development.


Asia Society

Cambodia Living Arts

International House at the University of Chicago

Mystetskyi Arsenal

NYU Brademas Center

Photo of dove by Sunguk Kim on Unsplash