In 2024, the conference took place from May 16-18 in one of Lviv’s bomb shelters. The focus topic of the anniversary event was “Common Language for Common Sense: Search For Meaning in Polarized World.”

Program of X LMF

“At X LMF, we managed to gather representatives from various fields — journalists, civil society leaders, experts from international organizations, politicians, and diplomats. These are people who directly or indirectly influence public opinion and government decisions in their countries. We invited them to discuss topics that shape the global media agenda and represent universal challenges. Therefore, finding solutions together is crucial,” says Lviv Media Forum Director Ola Myrovych.

<i>Photographed by Nastya Telikova</i>
Photographed by Nastya Telikova

The anniversary event’s program was structured around two main threads: Common Language and Common Sense. The program featured 30 events and 67 speakers and moderators. The conference’s working language was English, but some discussions and presentations were in Ukrainian (with simultaneous translation).

Common Language was the thread that focused on broader philosophical discussions and public interviews. Topics included strategies for Ukraine’s victory in its war for independence, the impact of media on shaping historical memory, the changes modern warfare brings to journalistic ethics and practices, understanding in times of polarization, and the influence of the colonial past on our consciousness today.

Common Sense was the more practical thread, focused on sharing experiences and finding solutions. Discussions covered topics like countering pressure on journalists, using artificial intelligence in media, the impact of tech platforms on societal polarization, mental health and psychological support for media professionals, and the future of Ukrainian media relying on donor support.

The keynote speakers at X LMF were Oleksandra Matviichuk, head of the Center for Civil Liberties, and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, a professor at Columbia University. You can watch recordings of their speeches here (in English).

Among other things, during the conference, attendees who had much in common but hadn’t yet met in person got the chance to exchange ideas. Olga Rudneva, co-founder of the veterans’ rehabilitation center Superhumans, spoke with British neurosurgeon and author Henry Marsh. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, renowned for her work in postcolonial studies, engaged in discussion with Ewa Thompson, author of “Imperial Knowledge: Russian Literature and Colonialism.” Ukrainian strategic communications expert Yevhen Hlibovytsky connected with British historian Timothy Garton Ash.

The participants and geography of X LMF

In total, over 500 guests and speakers participated in the anniversary conference.

X LMF brought together media professionals, researchers, activists, and public intellectuals from 36 countries. Every fourth attendee at the conference came from outside Ukraine. “The primary practical goal of this conference for us was to enable Ukrainians to engage in live conversations with foreign colleagues, having enough time and space to be heard and to articulate their thoughts and arguments. During panels and informal discussions, we witnessed hundreds of such conversations. This is how understanding is born,” says Otar Dovzhenko, the Creative Director of the Lviv Media Forum.

In 2024, organizers did not sell tickets to the conference — admission was free. The Lviv Media Forum invited all X LMF guests to donate to the development of a permanent program for media psychological support.

Cultural program at X LMF

The cultural program of X LMF was curated by the cultural manager, critic, and author Yevheniia Nesterovych: “When planning the cultural program of the LMF conference in 2024, we aimed to explain as little as possible and to let participants experience it firsthand as much as possible. Through art, we strived to create communicative situations that allowed space and time for shared immersion in the moment, and the freedom to make that moment exactly what it should be here and now.”

At the venue, three exhibitions were featured:

  • “The Nook for the Hideaway” by the Aza Nizi Maza children’s art studio. These are works by children aged 6 to 14, created in the summer of 2022 when the studio team returned from sheltering in the metro back to work in their basement premises.
  • “Walls of Europe” by the Outriders team. This multi-screen exhibition shows how the European Union, whose policies were friendly to migrants during the 2015 refugee crisis, is now closed off and crisscrossed by over 2000 kilometers of border fences.
  • An interactive installation called Common Senses, where participants reflected on what unites and polarizes citizens from different countries.

Conference guests also met with Lviv artists and cultural figures at the Jam Factory art center. Read the full text of the cultural program concept here.

X LMF on social media

Eight conference events were live-streamed on the Lviv Media Forum’s Facebook page, with recordings now available for viewing in English.

Textual coverage of all conference events, including notable quotes, can be found on X (Twitter) Euromaidan Press, an information partner of X LMF.

<i>Photographed by Nastya Telikova</i>
Photographed by Nastya Telikova

“Seeking understanding, establishing connections and cooperation between the Ukrainian media environment and foreign counterparts are our ongoing efforts that extend beyond the conference’s end. We will continue to work on this in our other projects and programs, and we are grateful to everyone for their ideas and support,” says Olga Myrovych.

We would like to thank the partners who supported the conference

X LMF was organized by the team of the NGO Lviv Media Forum. We would like to express our gratitude for the support of the event to the National Endowment for Democracy (NED); the Media Development Fund of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine; the International Renaissance FoundationUNESCO and the People of Japan; the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO); the German Marshall Fund of the United States.  

Partners of the cultural program: Outriders; Jam Factory; Jam CafeKIVSH.  

Logistics partners: BoltIBIS. We are grateful to the Lviv City Council for their support.

<i>Photographed by Nastya Telikova</i>
Photographed by Nastya Telikova

More X LMF highlights will be summarized in separate newsletters and social media posts soon.

Since 2013, LMF has been the largest media conference in Eastern and Central Europe. It is organized by the NGO Lviv Media Forum. Last year, organizers changed the format, focusing on issues critical for international support of Ukraine during the ongoing full-scale war. If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the conference, please write to info@lvivmediaforum.com.