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Zozuliak, Aleksander

Zozuliak, Aleksander/Zozul’ak, Alexander (b. April 6, 1953, Presov [Czechoslovakia], Slovakia) – editor, painter, and cultural activist among Rusyns in Slovakia. Son of Vasyl’ Zozuliak, the prominent Ukrainian-language writer in Eastern Slovakia, Aleksander Zozuliak completed his studies at the Ukrainian middle (serednia) school (1971) and at Safarik University in Preshov (1976). He then worked at the Ukrainian-language newspaper Nove zhyttia, where in 1989 he became editor-in-chief and established a Rusyn-language supplement, Holos Rusyniv (1990). After the fall of the Communist regime in November 1989 he co-founded the Initiative Group of Rusyn-Ukrainians. From that time he rejected the Ukrainian national orientation and adopted the view that Rusyns form a distinct Slavic nationality.

Zozuliak has promoted the Rusyn orientation as official spokesperson for the Rusyn Renaissance Society/Rusyns’ka obroda. He is founding editor-in-chief of that organization’s weekly newspaper, Narodny novynky (1991 –), and its bi-monthly magazine, Rusyn (1990 -) and heads the Rusyn- language publication program of the Rusyn Renaissance Society, which publishes works in Rusyn literature, language, and history and school textbooks. He has served as the executive secretary (1992 -) and chairman (2001-2003) of the World Congress of Rusyns. Zozuliak has also organized the Plenum of Rusyn Professional Artists, which holds periodic joint exhibits of Rusyn painters from the Presov Region. His own paintings are in the neo-Expressionistic mode and frequently depict introspective figures overwhelmed by the alienation of modern society.

Paul Robert Magocsi

Entry courtesy of Encyclopedia of Rusyn History and Culture.
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