5 Famous Ukrainian Brazilians Everyone Should Know


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Helena Kolody (Оле́на Колоді́й)


Helena Kolody was a Brazilian poet and educator. She was considered to be the outstanding poet of the State of Paraná.

Helena Kolody was born in Cruz Machado on 12 October 1912. Her parents came from the Ukrainian region of Galicia. In 1928 her poem “A Lágrima” was published in the journal Marinha. After graduating from the Curitiba Normal School, she taught in various schools.

Helena Kolody died in Curitiba on 15 February 2004, aged 91.


Vira Vovk (Ві́ра Вовк)

віра вовк

Vira Ostapivna Selianska (Ві́ра Оста́півна Селя́нська)

She was born in 1926 in Boryslav. Vira Vovk is a Ukrainian-language writer, critic, and translator living in Brazil. She writes in Ukrainian, German, and Portuguese.

Two significant motifs flow through her poetry, exotic geography and religious mysticism. She has done many translations into Ukrainian, Portuguese, and German.

Among her collections: Iunist’ (Youth, 1954), Zoria providna (The Leading Star, 1955), Chorni akatsiï (Black Acacias, 1961), Mandalia (Mandala, 1980), Zhinohi masky (Women’s Masks, 1993), Moleben’ do Bohorodytsi (A Supplication to the Mother of God, 1997), the book of collected poems Poeziia (Poetry, 2000) and other works.

Since 1959 Vovk has been associated with the New York Group of poets. In 2008 she was awarded the Shevchenko Prize.


Guto Pasko (Гу́то Пашко́)

Гуто Пашко

Pasko is a Brazilian film director of Ukrainian origin, president of the video and cinema Association of Parana state, national president of the Brazilian documentary film Association, and the owner of studio and actor agency GP7 Cinema.

He was born in 1976 in a family of Ukrainian migrants in the 5th generation near Prudentopolis, Parana State. Till 11 years old, Guto spoke only Ukrainian and was raised in Ukrainian traditions.

He has produced a documentary film «Made in Ucrania. Українці Парани» (port. «Made In Ucrania – Os Ucranianos no Paraná») about a recent stay of the Ukrainian diaspora in Parana State.

Guto has made five films about Ukrainians. Among them: “Ivan back in the past” and “Village”.

He also took part in a local election representing the People’s Socialistic Party (PPS).

Guto Pashko says: “I am Brazilian, but my soul is Ukrainian.”


Rafael Augusto Sobis do Nascimento (Рафае́л Со́біс)


Rafael Augusto Sobis do Nascimento was born in 1985, in Erechim to Ukrainian parents.

He began his journey as a professional footballer in the youth academy of Internacional, known simply as Rafael.

The young striker quickly became a household name for Internacional fans making his debut for the first team in 2004. In the 2005 season, his first entire season as a professional, the 19-year-old striker scored 19 goals in 35 games.

Sobis has also impacted the international stage. He made his debut against Argentina in September 2006, and he has collected eight caps, scoring once.

Sobis was also selected to represent Brazil at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, where he would score twice as Brazil earned a bronze medal.


Oxana Narozniak (Окса́на Нарозня́к)

Оксана Нарозняк

Oxana Narozniak is on the left

Oksana is a Ukrainian artist currently residing in Miami, Florida.

She was born in Germany, was a resident of Brazil for many years. Oxana Narozniak received her art education in the USA, notably B.A. from Wayne University, Detroit MI (1972); studied at the University of Hawaii and the Art Students’ League of N.Y.

Oxana Narozniak

She participated in the international art exhibition “Progress of the World’s Women,” shown at the United Nations lobby as part of the U.N. “Women 2000” conference.

Narozniak has also had solo exhibits at the Museo H. Stern in Rio de Janeiro and the São Paulo Museum of Art. Her work was presented at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden.


Were there any new people for you? Whom can you add to the list?


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