By Vadym Ilin. In the pre-war address in 2022 Vladimir Putin transparently hinted at the significance of the material space as a factor to “rewrite” history: “We are ready to show what real decommunizations would mean for Ukraine”.
#DossierUkraine takes the Russian war in Ukraine as a starting point for inquiries into politics, culture, and society in Ukraine, in (Eastern) Europe, and other regions of the world. The different threads of the series invite contributions, debates, views and positions of scholars, artists, cultural workers or journalists on matters of art and culture, the humanities and social sciences in times of crisis, on the use and misuse of historical narratives and legal norms, the circulation of images and texts, and their reception in various audiences and publics, on borders affirmed or transgressed, on divided or unified publics, authoritarian temptations and regimes, on food and energy security, the significance of heritage, among other things. By examining these and other issues, the Dossier hopes to shed light on the current war, to provide space for information and debate on occurring shifts that will affect the world for years to come.
The #artandculture thread of the #DossierUkraine series considers the Russian war in Ukraine from the point of view of artists, cultural workers, curators, journalists, and scholars. The thread stems from the art and research collective “Beyond the post-soviet”. In interviews and critical texts, it explores how politics and history are mediated through art, how identity is formed through cultural production, and the importance of heritage in a moment of crisis. Taking the current war as its starting point, the thread looks to the past, to trace shifts in Ukraine, Eastern Europe, and the broader “post-Soviet” space. It also gazes towards the future, to ask what is at stake and which new formations will arise. Collective members involved in this project: media and politics scholar Migle Bareikyte, art critic and curator Yulia Fisch, artist Borys Medvediev, researcher and editor Natasha Klimenko, cultural studies scholar Olga Osadtschy, and art worker Sasha Pevak. If you’d like to contribute, please contact Natasha.
The #CriticalJunctures thread of the #DossierUkraine addresses the Russian war in Ukraine not as singular moment of crisis but also as a turning point with potentially long-term outcomes affecting dynamics in many world regions. This thread takes a transregional approach in several ways. First, historical perspectives are an important means of contextualizing the conflict as well as the misinformation disseminated during it. Second, the current crisis impacts life beyond Eastern Europe. We ask about the repercussions and impacts in world regions beyond Ukrainian-Russian relations, and consider how the current war is shaping regional dynamics and responses in other parts of the globe. Third, we encourage contributions that look beyond the short term to think about potentially long-lasting changes as societies, regional organizations, companies, and private individuals are compelled to act, creating precedent for future responses to crisis. This thread is supported by the research agenda of the Research Centre Global Dynamics at Leipzig University. If you’d like to contribute, please contact Megan Maruschke at email@example.com.
#DossierUkraine is conceived as an open and modular form of contributions from different disciplines and regions of the university and world. Suggestions for new threads, single matters and contributions to existing threads by scholars, artists and practitioners of any discipline on archival, aesthetical, environmental, historical and other matters or issues of law, society, migration and others are welcome. Contributions are around 1.000-1.500 words. Suggestions for new threads should include a brief abstract that includes the guiding questions. Furthermore, we invite you to include up to 3 images (royalty-free or public domain) that relate to the thread topic. Please send your proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Andrii Portnov. ‘Ukraine between East and West’ is one of the most common metaphors of Ukrainian historiography. It has been regarded as a stable metaphor, one that is simultaneously productive, open and topical.
By Andrii Portnov. The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February of 2022 came as a surprise to many in Western Europe. Perhaps even more surprising was the firm Ukrainian resistance. But why was this unexpected? Apparently, Putin’s worldview and Ukrainian reality were ignored for a long time.
Von Andrii Portnov. Die russische Invasion in die Ukraine im Februar 2022 kam für viele in Westeuropa überraschend. Vielleicht noch überraschender war der entschlossene Widerstand der Ukrainerinnen und Ukrainer. Doch warum? Putins Weltsicht und die ukrainische Realität wurden offenbar lange ignoriert.
In mid-March of this year, I interviewed Olha Honchar, the head of Territory of Terror Museum in Lviv and the initiator of the Museum Crisis Center. We discussed the Territory of Terror in the context of Ukrainian political events, heritage protection during the war, and how Russian aggression compares to historical events.
By Eckart Woertz. As a region, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is the world’s largest grain importer. Approximately 30 per cent of global exports of wheat and barley, 20 per cent of corn, and a whopping three-quarters of sunflower oil come from Ukraine and Russia.
By Regina Elsner. Since the end of the Soviet Union, dozens of theologians and scholars of religion elaborated on the complicated relationships within the church community of the so-called Holy Rus’. The Moscow Patriarchate defines its territory of spiritual responsibility as encompassing the former Soviet Union – except for the old churches of Armenia and Georgia.
Von Clara M. Frysztacka. Nach zwei Jahren Debatten über den Beginn einer „Ära der Pandemien“ überbieten sich seit dem Einmarsch der russischen Truppen in die Ukraine die Prognosen über den Anbruch einer neuen (oder alten?) Zeit der Geopolitik.
Interview with Ulf Engel by Megan Maruschke. Ulf Engel, Professor of African Studies at Leipzig University, recently launched a five-part blog series on Africa and Russia’s war in Ukraine in Leipzig University’s Research Centre Global Dynamics blog.
By Natasha Klimenko. On April 13th, 2022, I spoke to Sasha Kurmaz, an artist from Kyiv who now lives in Ivano-Frankivsk, a city in western Ukraine. When we started the interview, he told me to keep one thing in mind: “If the air raid siren goes off, I’ll have to close everything and go”.