Kategorie: War, Migration and Memory

The unprecedented Russian full-scale attack on Ukraine brought the recent conflicts over memory in East Central Europe and in Ukraine to the attention of an international audience. Mass displacement also exposed millions of Ukrainians to new challenges that triggered intensive reinterpretations of the past – both the distant and the very recent – and a reevaluation of their memory through new experiences. This series aims to reach beyond the dimension of the politics of history and examine how cultural, collective, and individual memories are reshaped when used for interpreting the shocking realities of the current war. Additionally, it intends to study how memory is mobilized on a personal and collective level to deal with the ruptures and threats posed by this war and in an attempt to explain what is happening. This series stems from the research project “War, Migration and Memory” directed by Viktoria Sereda and conducted through the Prisma Ukraïna program at the Forum Transregionale Studien in Berlin. Contributions will include texts written by the project’s current fellows. We also invite further contributions that touch on these issues, or open them up from a comparative perspective. Please send proposals to prisma@trafo-berlin.de.

Politics of Distorted Numbers: How Russia is Counting Displaced Ukrainians and Why?

By Lidia Kuzemska. The scales of displacement and return have symbolical meanings for state actors, either of political failure (massive outflow of population) or political success (high number of returns). In the case of forced displacement of Ukrainians to Russia, the inflated and unverified number of border crossings between Ukraine and Russia, moreover, provided only by the Russian side, mistakenly transformed into a number of supposedly real individual Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion in the direction of the aggressor state.

Identity Migration of Orthodox Churches During the War in Ukraine (Since 2014)

By Denys Brylov and Tetiana Kalenychenko. With the beginning of its independent history, Ukrainian society experienced a religious renaissance, which also began to define identity. Identities did not always remain purely religious, but could also have a cultural and traditional character, such as the self-definition of a Ukrainian as a Christian, despite the country’s multi-religious and multicultural map. Since 2022, the problem of the transformation of religious identities is further exacerbated. Dramatic changes are taking place among the believers and clergy. This study explores precisely these transformations of religious identity taking place under the conditions of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

Cats in the Street Art of LBWS CAT UKRAINE: Constructing Cultural Memory in Wartime

By Yuliya Stodolinska. In Ukraine, a real outburst of artistic practices took place in February 2022 as a powerful response to Russia’s full-scale invasion, aiming to raise awareness of what is happening and to reinforce the resilience of Ukraine and its people. This article explores the positive role of street art in public space during wartime on the example of the street art produced by a team of artists known as LBWS CAT UKRAINE (lbws_168).

Ukrainian Forcefully Displaced Persons in Germany: To Stay or to Leave?

By Natalia Zaitseva-Chipak. In the near future, Ukrainian forcefully displaced persons could adapt and be able to join the German economy, which can become potentially powerful factors of its growth. Given that most of the migrants are women (of working age) with children, these contributions will refer to not only the near but also the more distant future.
At the same time, the loss of these people will be detrimental to postwar Ukraine. Even today, Ukrainian demographers fear the country’s depopulation. This, in turn, could be a critical factor in slowing down the country’s reconstruction, as it requires labor, skilled workers, and young people.

Militarized Cancer: People with a Diagnosis and the War in Ukraine

By Olha Labur. War is an extraordinary and powerful event in a person’s life. War militarizes lives, languages, and everyday experiences – even disease becomes a metaphorical image.The militarization of the oncological sphere during the war is not only a prompt reaction to the new situation in the Russo-Ukrainian War, but also impacts and transforms it. More than before, the voices of people who are marginalized and made taboo because of the disease have a wider reach. They are recognized as more involved in socially important processes, and their stories become valuable to society.

The ‘Emergency Grab Bag’ of Memory, or the Tonalities of News Headlines About the War in Ukraine – Part Twо

By Olha Haidamachuk. The war forces you to hastily gather your whole life into a small emergency grab bag and urgently leave your home. Only your memories stay fully with you. The headlines in media outlets and their vocabulary set the tone for the perception by the reader and certain kinds of “emergency grab bags” of memories about a war.

The Power of Maps and Geographic Imagery in Digital Communication: Narrating Russia’s War in Ukraine

By Alina Mozolevska. Visuals, used as information strategies or propaganda, have become a crucial instrument of war. Drawings, images, photos, posters, cartoons, or maps represent a powerful tool of both informing and mobilizing populations and consolidating political powers around a common goal. What, then, is the role of visuals in Russia’s current invasion of Ukraine? What messages do they convey? What are the main narratives expressed and symbols used during the Russo-Ukrainian War? And how is the visual landscape of the war created?

From a Pilfered Nail to a Stolen Tank: The Role of a Media Event in the Consolidation of the Ukrainian Political Nation

By Mykola Homanyuk and Janush Panchenko. During the war so far, actors across information spaces and those making propaganda and counterpropaganda have been actively exploiting discourses about particular ethnic minorities. One of the most remarkable news from the first days of the war was the story that some Romani people from the village of Lyubymivka stole a Russian tank.

Від поцупленого цвяха до вкраденого танка: роль медіа-події в консолідації Української політичної нації

Микола Гоманюк, Януш Панченко. «Українець азербайджанського походження отримав звання Героя України», «папа римський Франциск звинуватив бурятів та чеченців у жорстокості», «мобілізовані до російської армії таджики розстріляли командира», «Туреччина евакуювала українських турків-ахиска» – з перших днів повномасштабної російської агресії проти України як в Росії, так і в Україні національні (етнічні) меншини почали регулярно потрапляти у новини.

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