|Feminism, Modernism and Resistance to Empire in Ukraine||Panels and Discussions||Katherine YoungerUilleam BlackerTamara Hundorova||
Tamara Hundorova and Uilleam Blacker will discuss the work of Lesia Ukrainka (Larysa Kosach, 1871-1913), a Ukrainian modernist, feminist and anti-colonial thinker, in the context of Russia’s war in Ukraine and the move towards decolonizing the study of Russia and Eastern Europe. Lesia Ukrainka is a canonical figure in Ukraine, known for her fiery poems opposing Russian colonial rule in Ukraine and praising freedom. Her most accomplished works were her dramas, however, which transform stories and myths drawn from European and world culture into feminist and anti-imperial allegories: these with their focus on imperial violence, the importance of freedom and the twisting of truth, have much to teach us today.
|Arts after Violence: How to Read the History of Ukrainian Art?||Seminars and Colloquia||Kateryna IakovlenkoKatherine Younger||
According to Walter Benjamin, there is no document of civilization that is not at the same time a document of barbarism. Thus, art history might be reviewed as a history of violence–and the history of Ukrainian art is no different. Today, learning of the deportation of Ukrainian art to Moscow or the destruction of cultural heritage, the methods of barbarism and colonization become clearer. During her talk, Kateryna Iakovlenko provided an overview of Ukrainian art through the lens of violence, emphasizing the role of Ukrainian artists in the socio-political and cultural struggle against tyranny.
|“Self-Organization” as Ukraine’s New Culture of Civic Engagement||Panels and Discussions||Kateryna IakovlenkoKatherine YoungerEmily Channell-Justice||
A key element of Ukraine’s Euromaidan protests of 2013-2014 was “self-organization,” the idea that if someone has the ability to do something, and that thing needs to be done, the person should simply do it - a clear shift from a Soviet-era mentality of reliance on state institutions to meet people’s needs. This presentation explores the development of self-organization during Euromaidan, its role in later protest movements, and its contribution to reconceptualizing the state.
|War in Ukraine and Universal Values||Panels and Discussions||Philipp BlomSerhii PlokhiiTimothy Snyder||
On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, launching a full-scale war of aggression. This war is the product of imperialism rooted in historical fantasy, intended to deny Ukraine the fundamental right to exist. It is enabled by the Putin regime’s longstanding assault on the very notion of truth. While Ukrainians are left to defend their country, what is at stake goes far beyond the borders of Ukraine.
|No End to History||Lecture||Katherine YoungerSerhii Plokhii||
Thirty years ago, the world lived through one of the most optimistic moments of the 20th century. Communism—and the Soviet Union with it—had collapsed, the Cold War had come to an end, and democracy was on the rise around the globe. We are now in probably the grimmest moment since the start of the 21st century. The Cold War is making its way back, hot war has returned to the geographic center of Europe, and democracy is facing the most profound challenges since the end of World War II. Nowhere were the expectations for the arrival of a new era so high, and nowhere did they crash with such tragic consequences, as in the former Soviet space. Looking back, we see that 1991 did not mark the end of history, either as the ideological evolution of humankind or as a scholarly discipline that has documented the lengthy and painful disintegration of most of the world’s empires. What we see today is the continuing process of the disintegration of the USSR, complete with efforts to establish spheres of influence, border disputes, and open warfare. We also see Russia’s return to the international scene as it attempts to claim the role of not only a regional but also a global power, akin to the role played by the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. In this lecture Serhii Plokhii will discuss the developments of the last thirty years in the lands that once belonged to the USSR, bringing history in to explain the most recent developments in the region.
|Maria Winowska and the Search for a Modern (but Illiberal) Central and Eastern Europe||Cancelled||Katherine YoungerPiotr Kosicki||
The years of the pandemic have witnessed a veritable renaissance of big-picture thinking about the trajectories of Central and Eastern Europe – in particular, about what modernization and modernity have meant for the region. Surprisingly, however, few of these historical accounts break free of classic heuristic assumptions: that liberal modernity was the inevitable endpoint of the region’s modernization (what Holmes and Krastev have decried as mimicry of the West) and that the national community, with the nation-state as its telos, is the most organic unit of analysis through which to approach the region.
|The Future of Belarus in Europe||Panels and Discussions||Katherine YoungerWojciech PrzybylskiSviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Christian Ultsch, Franak Viačorka||
Speakers: Katherine YoungerWojciech PrzybylskiSviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Christian Ultsch, Franak Viačorka
Series: Panels and Discussions
What is the place of Belarus on the Western political agenda? How does the current situation impinge on future cooperation?
Over the past year Belarus has made its mark Europeans’ mental map as a country with a vibrant civil society and the potential for democratic change. Aliaksandr Lukashenka’s authoritarian regime, in power for the last 27 years, has thwarted every attempt at change. He lost the presidential election in August 2020 and is holding society hostage domestically. He has also begun to threaten the EU. Unprecedented pressure is being put on the European block through the weaponization of refugees and migrants from MENA countries, who are brought on purpose to the borders of the EU by the regime.
The European Union is seeking ways to respond to this most serious of challenges. That response entails weighing risks and opportunities for the future of the continent. What will the future hold for Belarus in Europe?
|Ukraine and the Borders of Europe||Seminars and Colloquia||Katherine YoungerLudger HagedornVolodymyr Yermolenko||
Volodymyr Yermolenko explored how evolving ideas and imagination of Europe in the 18th-20th centuries shaped evolving ideas and imagination of Ukraine, in particular the image of Ukraine as the “big frontier”. Moving beyond the geographical sense of border/frontier inherent in Ukraine’s name, the focus here is on the mental and geo-philosophical aspect: the evolution of the mental borders of Europe and the concepts, metaphors, and imagination of Europe that shaped and reshaped how Ukraine and the Ukrainian lands have been seen in intellectual history, both from within and from without.
|Belarus ein Jahr nach den Massenprotesten: Wie weiter?||Panels and Discussions||Ivan VejvodaLudger HagedornOlga Shparaga||
Im Sommer und Herbst 2020 erlebte Belarus die größten Massenproteste seiner Geschichte. Sie richteten sich gegen die manipulierten Präsidentschaftswahlen und das autokratische Regime von Aljaksandr Lukaschenka, der das Land seit 1994 regiert. Die Proteste erzeugten eine Aufbruchstimmung im ganzen Land und die Hoffnung auf politischen Wandel. Von der EU wird Lukaschenka seit den Wahlen nicht mehr als rechtmäßiger Staatspräsident anerkannt.
|Inside Tyranny: Belarus and the Power and Non-power of State Terror||Panels and Discussions||Marci ShoreTimothy SnyderMaryia Rohava, Aliaksei Kazharski, Radosław Sikorski, Hanna Komar||Register here||
Speakers: Marci ShoreTimothy SnyderMaryia Rohava, Aliaksei Kazharski, Radosław Sikorski, Hanna Komar
Series: Panels and Discussions
Immediately following the hijacking of the Ryanair flight and abduction of Roman Protasevich and Sofia Sapega on 23 May, IWM hosted a discussion posing the question of что делать? (What is to be done?) from the perspective of European Union states: The Hijack. Europe, Belarus, and the Abduction of Roman Protasevich.
The following two discussions (the first in German, the second in English) shifted the focus from the European Union to the former Soviet space in an attempt to better understand what is happening inside Belarus itself. In what way is the currently showcased performative-confession-extracted-through-torture reminiscent of Stalinist times, and in what way is there something post-modern about it? What is the relationship between insecurities about masculinity and state terror? How does a “revolution with a woman’s face” open new possibilities for politics, for rebellion against tyranny?