WRITING SOMEONE ELES’S STORY is always a difficult assignment. How, for instance, do you achieve the voice of the other, and how much your own can seep in? But still it is worth trying when people have beautiful stories to share with others. This time the hero of the story is Oleksiy Kovalenko.
Oleksiy came from Kyiv (Ukraine) to Jyväskylä to obtain his second Master’s degree in September 2016 together with his talent which he has been nurturing since he was two years old.
He comes from an artistic family where his father is a voice over actor and his mother is a theater critic. Since his childhood, Oleksiy could observe theater stage from behind the scenes and learn about performing art from the first hands. Being already an adult Oleksiy dedicated himself to different forms of art from composing instrumental and electronic music, film making, radio hosting, directing and finally performing as an actor and musician. A lot of time and hard work is involved behind his life as a director of a student theater back in his home University.
While sharing his childhood memories Oleksiy mentioned that once he got an idea of making a short movie together with his friends. Family members became a filming crew and classmates and close friends became actors. Family recognized artistic need in self-expression of a young man and encouraged him to pursue his idea. At the age of 11 Oleksiy created his first movie script, assigned roles between his friends, coordinated shooting process and edited his first movie all by himself. That valuable experience encouraged him to continue looking for further steps in artistic self-expression already in the university student life.
’ I believe that theatre, music, painting, sculpture, architecture and art in any other form bring people and talents together. Art has no boundaries.’
Oleksiy obtained his first Master degree in psychology from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (Ukraine) and have been working as event manager, theatre director, radio and TV shows host, music composer and short movie producer. In 2011 while studying at his home university, Oleksiy came up with an idea of creation of an open art platform for every student interested in art through uniting independent student performers and that is how an International Student Theater Festival “Catharsis” was born. In 2017 Festival will celebrate its 6th edition. Within 6 years of existence Festival managed to cooperate and make friends with international cultural and governmental institutions from 2 continents (Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy, Czech Republic, Poland and the USA), accommodate over 10 000 spectators, presenting over 100 theater performances, inviting international guests to perform for local audience and run open art workshops in performing art, music, dance, film making and photography. After the first edition of the Festival a student theater “Catharsis” was born and united best performers from 6 departments of the university and Oleksiy became its director. After 6 years of existence student theater “Catharsis” staged over 10 plays from both classical and modern drama heritage.
During his recent travel to Finland Oleksiy got an opportunity to run his own weekly 30 minute radio show program dedicated to art and culture at “Lähiradio 100,3 MHz” in Helsinki, Finland. Radio show was transmitted around Helsinki area (Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa) for one month in Finnish, English and Ukrainian.
In his words, it was hard to leave the Catharsis theatre and move to Finland but he is happy that the theatre group is still performing and Festival is still going.
In 2016 Oleksiy decided to come to Finland to gain new experience. Presently, he is doing a Master degree in International business and entrepreneurship at the University of Jyväskylä. I asked him, why he choose International business as psychology and business seem quite distant research fields from each other. His answer was: “In business and in psychology you have to meet a lot of people and find ways of effective communication. My business studies, in a way are an extension of my psychology studies and I am glad to apply my psychological knowledge while studying business”.
Oleksiy is one of those people who probably feel incomplete without art. During our conversation he revealed his idea of organizing an art Festival in Jyväskylä. There can be a lot of Finnish and international people who have a unique art talents and the Festival can unite them together. And then he told me that already this May together with students from (Faculty of Education and Psychology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Information Technology at JYU and JAMK ) he is organizing – Jyväskylä Student Art Festival at the University of Jyväskylä on 4-6th May2017. Show program of the Festival consists of performances, art exhibition, interactive workshops, Alvar Aalto museum visit and social swing dance party. Festival aims to unite Finnish and international cultural heritage, create open art space for young people to explore art, learn and experience something unique and meet new friends sharing same interest in art. Event is free and open for all students of Jyväskylä and their friends and family members.
4th of May:
Alvar Aalto museum tour:
Artist’s social night with SwingBastian:
5th-6th of May:
– Art Exhibition;
JSAF uniting Finnish and International students:
Good luck to Oleksiy and his team!