Ihor Bartkiv: "The war must be documented—and someone has to do it"
People who experienced the Russian occupation of Bucha and other towns in the Kyiv region in February-March 2022 are now trying to save themselves mentally rather than physically, seeking refuge from their memories. The rapid reconstruction of the city, which so captivated outside observers, is also a way to try to return to “pre-February 24” Bucha. The archivists and regional experts who lived through all these horrible events are forced to bring together their personal experiences and their professional duties. The employees of the Archive Department of the Bucha City Council, where documents of the National Archives are held, have spent every day since the very beginning of the full-scale invasion recording events on the spot, taking photographs, capturing video footage. Now the Archive Department is cataloging these materials and providing information to journalists, to legal experts who are investigating war crimes, and to other interested parties. The head of the Archive Department of the Bucha City Council, Ihor Bartkiv, discusses his experience in Bucha under occupation by Russian forces.
Why Documenting Ukraine? Bearing Witness through Culture and Scholarship
The IWM launched Documenting Ukraine in March 2022 to contribute to creating a record of the Russo-Ukrainian War, capturing the human experience of that war, and making it accessible and comprehensible to the broader world. Since then, we have supported 192 projects proposed by Ukrainian scholars, creative professionals, journalists, public intellectuals, and preservation experts that establish and preserve a factual record or bring meaning to events through artistic interpretation and intellectual reflection. Ultimately, the materials collected and produced through these projects will be housed in a complex, transdisciplinary archive.
Olena Braichenko: "There is a love and care that can be shown to others precisely through food"
“ïzhakultura” is an independent project about food culture that was founded by Olena and Artem Braichenko in 2017. It is the first resource in Ukraine dedicated to the history of Ukrainian cuisine, where scholars, chefs, food critics, and food anthropologists discuss history, culture, and art through the prism of food. Over the five years of its existence, ïzhakultura has included gastronomy research, the publishing house ïzhak, and numerous thematic events, which not only deepen Ukrainians’ knowledge of their own culture, but also tell the world about Ukraine. Here Olena Braichenko talks about ïzhakultura’s work since February 24.
The Voices of Kharkiv: Reconstructing Everyday Life in Wartime
Since February 24, 2022, Kharkiv, the second-largest city in Ukraine with a population of 1,5 million, has been undergoing daily shelling, missile attacks, and unprecedented destruction. Only 40 kilometers from the Russian border, the city was considered an easy target for the Russian forces, who expected the largely Russophone residents to welcome them as liberators. Far from that, the city mobilized to fight the invaders and resists heroically for nearly ten months of the war.
Education in the Shelter: Testimonies of Teaching and Learning during the War
University professors teaching classes from trenches, children doing homework by candlelight, teachers giving lectures after being evacuated from their hometowns – this is the new “normal” of Ukrainian education. According to the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, as of late October 2022 2,677 schools and universities have been damaged by the war and 331 have been destroyed. More than half a million students and over 25,000 teachers fled abroad as refugees. But while the education process continues online and in hybrid forms, there is an acute need to understand and assess the experiences and needs of students and faculty. Documenting Ukraine supports several initiatives that collect testimonies and record such experiences.