It is the cultural sector’s responsibility to do as much as we can to promote peace at current turbulent time.

The invasion undertaken by the Russian Government in Ukraine has forced millions of Ukrainian to leave their country as refugees. Most of them are women and children, while adult men are encouraged to stay behind to defend their country.  As an organisation with our founding mission to bridge cross-cultural understanding, we disagree with all forms of violence and military invasion by any country. In modern times, there are many ways to facilitate discussion, debate and dialogue which are more cilvlised than a military action. We believe in the power of film as an effective way to mediate conflict, although it might take some time for a foundation to be built.  At least this is what we have been trying to do in the past two years.

Wars always create more hate, more conflict, more complexity for the next generations. Haven’t we learnt from the past? How little, sadly, have we moved forward from the previous wars. Wars destroy not just the current generation but at least the next two generations of any country. We do not need more wars (militarily or rhetorically) but we need more imaginative diplomatic dialogues.

Many of the UK registered organisations have released their statement in the past few weeks, followed by an action to sanction all Russian related businesses. At UCFC, we do not have any direct or indirect collaboration with any Russian individual nor company. However, we do not see the act of sanctioning (in particular sanctioning arts and culture collaboration on a civic level) as a long-term solution to the crisis in Ukraine or to a peaceful world order in general. The ordinary people should not pay for the mistakes made by a few. Sanctioning will only create more hate and more inequality in geopolitics, it is the ordinary people who will suffer. Sanctioning will only create more binaries, more ‘me’ against ‘you’ attitude which is not helpful in advancing our critical thinking.

I am aware that our oganisation have recently become a target for internet users on social media. May I use this opportunity to repeat, once again, that we are an independent orgnaisation without any affiliation with any government. Our works have been a form of advocacy to inspire both sides to consider our suggestion on matters around international trade policy, strategic dialogue and cultural diplomacy, bottom up.

We will continue to promote the awareness of peace in our ongoing projects. This message not only applies to the current crisis in Ukraine but also to other countries that have been suffering from unreasoned military invasion in the past decades. We are currently setting up a fundraising campaign to help with refugees who are affected by wars and will publish our plan in due course.

We reserve all rights to question any individual or organisation who intentionally or biasedly drag us into current geopolitics in order to advance their own political agendas. Our response will be simple. As usual, we will invite you to watch a film with us to clear any misunderstanding, followed by a public debate.

If any individual and orgniastion have any question regarding our position in response to Ukraine, please do not hesitate to contact me directly via:

Dr Hiu Man Chan
Founder & Director, UK-China Film Collab

31st March 2022