Conferences are meant for networking. Online participation is good, presenting is better, and being present in person is best. For our Ukraine colleagues, contacts with museums and experimental archaeologists are an important part of keeping up their cultural work which is part of their identity. This, as they say, is equally important to having electricity, water and shelter.
The #SUN network is a group of people trying to support Ukraine in these matters. We were lucky that the EXARC conference this year was planned to take place in Toruń, Poland, where 60 people from all around the world convened.
Thanks to several private and institutional sponsors, we were able to get a delegation of five Ukrainian colleagues over to spend these days with us.
This meeting in person led to many practical contacts: Ukraine suddenly was not anonymous anymore, but we saw it from the inside. These personal meetings, together with some official parts and a session which was broadcast live, led to many new initiatives in the #SUN network, like the planning of more visits in person abroad and chats with colleagues about for example historical ship building and dedicated meetings for directors only.
We thank the sponsors so much, and above all the willingness and the effort of our Ukrainian colleagues to come over to meet with us in person.