PoSoCoMeS WG | Conflict, Violence and Memory TFDC G.06 Lecture Theatre & Plenary Overflow
Jul 06, 2023 09:00 - 10:30(Europe/London)
20230706T0900 20230706T1030 Europe/London 5.5. Russia's War on Ukraine I: Memory Dynamics since 2014

This is the first of two panels on how Russia's war on Ukraine has shaped and interacted with historical memory. It takes a long-term approach, looking at developments that started well beyond the full-scale invasion of February 2022 and even before the start of the war in 2014, with a focus on memories of the Second World War. The panel brings together scholars from the fields of (the politics of) history, cultural studies, and cinema studies, and examines historical narratives, monuments and commemorative practices, and film. The contributions ask a number of interrelated questions. How has the divergence between Ukraine's and Russia's memory cultures fueled tensions and conflict? Conversely, how did Russia's invasion in 2014 affect the commemoration and representation of the Second World War? And how have memory dynamics changed between the first stage of the war and its second and more large-scale phase since February 2022?

Georgiy KasianovClash of Narratives: Memory Discourse on the Second World War in Russia and Ukraine, 1995 to 2022The paper discusses controversies between Russia and Ukraine over the memory of the Second World War starting from the 50th anniversary of the Great Victory and finishing with the Russian invasion of 2022. In Russia, the Great Patriotic War became a central sacral symbol in the state-led politics of memory, while the Great Victory developed into the constitutive myth of the contemporary Russian state. The Ukrainian ruling elites promoted the Great Famine of 1932-1933 (the Holodomor) as a constitutive myth of contemporary statehood, thus marginalizing the Great Victory of 1945. Moreover, Ukrainian official historiography and memory have gradually shifted towards recognizing the Ukrainian nationalist movement and guerilla in Wes ...

TFDC G.06 Lecture Theatre & Plenary Overflow MSA Conference Newcastle 2023 conference@memorystudiesassociation.org
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This is the first of two panels on how Russia's war on Ukraine has shaped and interacted with historical memory. It takes a long-term approach, looking at developments that started well beyond the full-scale invasion of February 2022 and even before the start of the war in 2014, with a focus on memories of the Second World War. The panel brings together scholars from the fields of (the politics of) history, cultural studies, and cinema studies, and examines historical narratives, monuments and commemorative practices, and film. The contributions ask a number of interrelated questions. How has the divergence between Ukraine's and Russia's memory cultures fueled tensions and conflict? Conversely, how did Russia's invasion in 2014 affect the commemoration and representation of the Second World War? And how have memory dynamics changed between the first stage of the war and its second and more large-scale phase since February 2022?



Georgiy Kasianov

Clash of Narratives: Memory Discourse on the Second World War in Russia and Ukraine, 1995 to 2022

The paper discusses controversies between Russia and Ukraine over the memory of the Second World War starting from the 50th anniversary of the Great Victory and finishing with the Russian invasion of 2022. In Russia, the Great Patriotic War became a central sacral symbol in the state-led politics of memory, while the Great Victory developed into the constitutive myth of the contemporary Russian state. The Ukrainian ruling elites promoted the Great Famine of 1932-1933 (the Holodomor) as a constitutive myth of contemporary statehood, thus marginalizing the Great Victory of 1945. Moreover, Ukrainian official historiography and memory have gradually shifted towards recognizing the Ukrainian nationalist movement and guerilla in Western Ukraine as a central theme and glorifying the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) as national heroes who fought against both the Nazis and the Soviets. This shift has challenged Russia's constitutive myth (the Red Army as liberator) and caused numerous conflicts and a memory war, which morphed into real war in 2014 and 2022. In Russia, the official memory of the Great Patriotic War became an instrument of ideological justification of aggression against Ukraine (new war against 'Nazis') and aggressive attitude towards the 'evil West who supports Ukrainian Nazis'. Russian top officials have presented the war in Ukraine as a continuation of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.


Ekaterina Shapiro-Obermair

The Monument of Glory: The Glory of the Monument

The Monument of Glory was inaugurated in Lviv in 1970 and from the very beginning fulfilled several functions. From a city planning perspective, it was not only supposed to become the heart of a new district, but also to relocate the focal point of the city itself from the historic centre to this peripheral area. As a tool of urban propaganda, the monument was intended to reaffirm Soviet hegemony in the region and glorify the 'Great Patriotic War' and the victory over fascism-the key principles of the late Soviet ideology. Until the early 1990s, the Memorial of Glory was the scene and an integral part of various activities related to the cult of the 'Great Patriotic War', from wreath-laying ceremonies on the various commemoration days to the taking of the military oath by graduates of the nearby military academy. Following Ukraine's independence, this lieu de mémoire only gradually lost its former function, and its demolition, which was completed in 2021, took several years. The deconstruction process was widely discussed in and beyond the media: the monument itself became a medium for discharging and resolving social tensions.

The paper focuses on assemblies held in front of the monument by various social groups after the outbreak of the Russian war against Ukraine in 2014. The emphasis is on how the contemporary war was reflected in these practices. The analysis follows a pictorial science and media studies research perspective in an approach that draws on Judith Butler's theory of performativity.


Mykola Homanyuk 

The Transformation of War Memorials in Rural Ukraine 

Grand narratives about the monumentscape in Ukraine, or for that matter in other post-Soviet countries, tend to focus on big cities, ignoring rural areas. Yet the vast majority of Soviet and post-Soviet war memorials are located in villages, small towns, and in the rural outskirts of big cities. They have also been subject to even more substantial modifications than centrally located monuments in regional capitals and other large urban areas. Based on several years of fieldwork, this presentation proposes a typology of changes to rural war memorials in Ukraine, focusing on the period since 2014. The types of modifications discussed are polychromy, the addition of Christian or Ukrainian national symbols, and ways in which memorials have been individualized, personalized, and domesticated in ways reminiscent of the treatment of family graves. 

Associate professor
,
Kherson State University
Dr.
,
Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Lublin, Poland
researcher
,
Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
 Julie Deschepper
Assistant Professor in Heritage and Museum Studies
,
Utrecht University
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