Culture News Society, 28/08/2017

Create Family, Be Happy

Ukrainian family values and myths, as well as different types of families, were discussed at the first family forum in Kharkiv last week.

The “Modern Family: Traditions and Variations” forum lasted for three days; its participants tried to analyze the actual concept and the modern forms of a social institution called “family.”

The discussion was a private initiative of the volunteer of the Kharkiv Foundation for Psychological Studies Valeriya Goncharova and some activists of the feminist and LGBT communities with the support of  USAID / ENGAGEPact, Sutra-bar Kamalaya, Kharkiv Foundation for Psychological Research and some other organizations.

“Our goal is to remind people that they create families not to reproduce the population of the state but to be happy. This is the true family value”, says gender researcher Olena Strelnik.

One of the key messages of the forum was that “neither the word nor the very concept of ‘a family’ is the property of traditionalists.”

Also, the participants raised the topical issue of domestic violence. Unexpectedly for some of the participants, the discussion of various sexual practices was arranged. The presenters delivered a bold thesis that some sexual games can significantly reduce the level of violence in families.

Besides, the audience of the forum learned to communicate without aggression during the training in nonviolent communication.

The forum’s final activity was the performance of the playback-theater “Live Mirror” when the viewers shared their sad or funny stories, and the actors played them on stage at once.

Most of the stories were about misunderstanding between parents and children, the loss of a family or searching for a new one, about support and love at a distance. And these issues appeared to be equally substantial both to “traditionalists” and representatives of non-conventional families.

Text: Olena Sokolynska

Photo: Family Forum