The phenomenon of revolutionary and post-revolutionary solidarity of conscious civil society and the sustainable development of the volunteer movement in Ukraine are inextricably linked to the tradition of the anti-imperialist liberation struggle, which is based on diversity, multinationality, liberal feminism, multireligion, multiculturalism and consolidation.
The processes of forming the civil society of modern Ukraine, which began in the 1990s during the Student Revolution on Granite and the miners’ protests, subsequently transformed into the Orange Revolution, and ten years later into the Revolution of Dignity, keep evolving almost on a daily basis, with an unprecedented speed in the history of Europe. But living next door to an aggressive country takes away the privilege of pacifism. It is a constant balancing act between the demand for equal access to basic rights, decolonisation, sustainable development, a new vision of civil society, an inclusive economy and prosperity on the one hand, and living in physical and mental proximity to shelling, systemic violence and post-traumatic consequences on the other. In this ambivalence, civic, vertical solidarity is continuously crystallising, transforming over the centuries, and coinciding with the discourse of the struggle for independence both from empires, and external as well as internal emancipation. Taking into account the detrimental impact of militarisation and the glorification of some population groups over others, when violence is manifested with the aim of extermination on a national (in the political sense) basis, the necessary action is defence.
Nowadays, the critically thinking Ukrainian society is beginning to form the perspective of promoting the meaning of the pacifist horizontal governance for the recovery from post-war destruction in the material and non-material sense of the word, the development of rehabilitation institutions, human rights frameworks, etc. But the 9-year-long Russian-Ukrainian war has proven that the desire to enjoy the privilege of pacifism is tantamount to standing on the sidelines. And from recent history, we know that this position has led to most of the human suffering of the previous century.
Biographies of the participants:
Kateryna Mishchenko is a writer, publisher and translator from the German. She is co-founder of the Ukrainian publishing house Medusa. She taught literature at the Kyiv National Linguistic University, and worked as a translator in the human rights and social fields. Her essays have been published in Ukrainian and international anthologies, journals and the book „Ukrainian Night“. She is co-editor of the book „Aus dem Nebel des Krieges (From the fog of War)“ published by Suhrkamp Verlag. Currently, she is a fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin.
Nina Khyzhna is a Ukrainian theatre director, performer and choreographer. She collaborates on different theatre projects with independent Ukrainian theatres, among them Teatr NAFTA, Pershuj Teatr and Teatr Varta. She worked with theatres in Poland, Slovakia and Austria and is also leading a laboratory for performance, theatre and body-oriented practices. Khyzhna works in the fields of post documental, dance theatre and performance. Her aim is to use theatre as a safe space for dialogue and as a social tool for introducing themes of tolerance, equality and security into the social discourse.
Liuba Ilnytska is a dramaturg, theatre curator and critic. She studied theatre studies at the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv and is curator of the Jam Factory Art Center’s theatrical programme. Liuba Ilnytska is a dramaturg of the performance “Tomorrow at the same Time” (Lesia Ukrainka Theatre, Lviv, Ukraine, 2023), the audio performance “My Friends Listen to War” (Radiokapital, Warszawa, Poland, 2023), the performance “ЛЮТИЙ | FebrUaRY”, and co-dramaturg of the performance “Demo. Rehearsals for the Beginners“ (Jam Factory Art Center, 2021).
Kateryna Stetsevych studied literature and linguistics at the University of Chernivtsi as well as East European studies at Freie Universität Berlin. She worked as a freelance curator and lecturer for international intermedia organisations including Goethe-Institut and GIZ as well as cultural institutions in Germany. Currently, she is head of the project group Central, Eastern and South -Eastern Europe at the Federal Agency for Civic Education/bpb.
Kateryna Mishchenko – Writer, publisher and translator
Nina Khyzhna – Theatre director, performer and choreographer
Liuba Ilnytska – Dramaturg, critic, theatre manager and curator
Host Kateryna Stetsevych – Head of the project group Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe at the Federal Agency for Civic Education/bpb
The event is funded by the Federal Agency for Civic Education/bpb.
Informational support by the Ukrainian Institute.