A man, whose main investment into the future was his own talent multiplied by work.
A man who became a genius. And a genius who remained a man.
He had different names in his lifetime and after his death.
The Little Myron. The Great Stonemason. The Eternal Spirit of Revolt. The Ukrainian Moses.
And this is hardly the complete list.
Yet, his real name is Ivan Franko.
He is one of the greatest and most renowned representatives of the Ukrainian nation.
A real self-made man. The first Ukrainian writer who managed to earn a living by his writing. He was the first one to combine a Ukrainian embroidered shirt with an elegant European-style suit. He was also the first head of the first Ukrainian political party. There are many areas were Franko was among the front-runners.
Most importantly, he realized he was a Ukrainian back at the time when Ukraine was not yet a separate state on the world map. It later came into existence – born from his ideas, imagination and creative spirit.
He is immortalized on one of the paper bills of Ukrainian national currency, in numerous monuments and names of streets, institutions and locations (from small villages to a regional centre with more than 200,000 inhabitants – Ivano-Frankivsk).
A talented writer, a versatile scientist and innovator, a vigorous political activist and an influential public intellectual – he is a rare example of a universal genius, Doctor universalis, in the world context and a unique example in the Ukrainian history as he realized his creative potential in many spheres of culture simultaneously.
At the same time, Franko is relatable and understandable for us. He is a full-blooded dynamic personality who ran ahead of his time. That is why he is not only the grand monument of the glorious past, but also our contemporary and friend, charismatic and nice.
He is honoured by compatriots, yet, unfortunately, is still little known abroad.
So who is Ivan Franko?
Why do we, the people of the 21st century, like him and relate to him?
Why is he important not only for Ukrainians? How can he be interesting in a broader context – European and worldwide?
Find the answers in our project – a travel interactive labyrinth-exhibition created according to A to Z principle – Franko from A to Z.
Franko, as every real genius, is a man of a secret, a man of a labyrinth, or more specifically, a whole encyclopedia of secrets. You need to go through the whole labyrinth – from A to Z – to reveal all these secrets and understand the grandiosity of this extraordinary creative personality.
This book is a catalogue and a travel guide, all at the same time. It represents the textual and visual context of labyrinth exhibition and suggests a travel route – one of the possible ones, but not the only one.
Every visitor can map their own route and find their own exit out of the labyrinth while exploring the life and creativity of Ivan Franko. They can later use this knowledge to explore the world of Ukrainian culture as a natural part of the European civilization.