Ostap Slyvynsky


Documenting Ukraine Grants

Dictionary of War (Словник війни)

Dictionary of War is a documentary project consisting of short texts based on the monologues of the victims and witnesses of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Among the speakers are: forcibly displaced persons, volunteers, medics, soldiers, civic activists, artists, etc. In each monologue, there is a most important word, and the story is a kind of definition of it. Therefore, the Dictionary of War speaks not only about the life experiences, thoughts, and emotions of the interlocutors, but also about the language itself: how it changes in wartime, how some words emerge from the past and become meaningful again or – on the contrary – how recently important words become irrelevant. Some of the “dictionary entries” were not based on recorded monologues, but contributed by co-authors as completed texts. Dictionary of War will be published as a book at the end of 2022 – it will contain 80 word-stories, with illustrations by Nadia Kushnir. But the project will probably have a continuation.

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