Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute




Conference. Five Years of War in the Donbas: Cultural Responses and Reverberations

Please join the Ukrainian Studies Program at the Harriman Institute, Columbia University for the conference Five Years of War in the Donbas: Cultural Responses and Reverberations. The conference will gather an international array of scholars to discuss the diverse ways that Ukrainian culture has been stirred by the recent war between Ukraine and Russia in the Donbas. At the bottom of this page are download links for the full conference schedule, abstracts, and participant bios.

Among those scheduled to participate in the conference are Mark Andryczyk, Uilleam Blacker, Vitaly Chernetsky, Yuliya Ilchuk, Roman Ivashkiv, Nazar Kozak, Yuliya V. Ladygina, Oksana Maksymchuk, Olena Martynyuk, Ronald Meyer, Natalia Moussienko, Oksana Remeniaka, Maria G. Rewakowicz, Max Rosochinsky, Yuri Shevchuk, Iryna Shuvalova, and Alina Zubkovych.

Five Years of War in the Donbas: Cultural Responses and Reverberations will present and analyze the vibrant and varied reflections of the war marking today’s Ukrainian culture. It will explore the different, novel ways that Ukrainian literature, film, music, and visual art have attempted to perceive, interpret, and express war in the country. Among the questions that will be treated at the conference are: How has this culture changed as the war has endured? How have language, memory and displacement been treated by this culture? How has this culture been disseminated in Ukraine and beyond its borders? How does this culture reflect the identity of today’s Ukraine?

Day two of the conference will conclude with the US premier at The Ukrainian Museum of the exhibit A Conversation by legendary Ukrainian artist Vlodko Kaufman, with the assistance of fellow Ukrainian artist Natalka Shymin.  Kaufman’s work as a performance artist, painter, and book designer dates back to late-Soviet-era, underground Ukrainian culture and he has been a leading voice in the development of Ukrainian art for over the past quarter of a century.  He is co-founder and Artistic Director of the Dzyga Art Association in Lviv, Ukraine. A Conversation is a candid and provocative, yet subtle, treatment of the everyday responses of Ukrainians to war in their homeland and is a reminder to those outside of Ukraine that it endures.

The conference is cosponsored by the Ukrainian Studies Program at the Harriman Institute, Columbia University, and by The Ukrainian Museum.

Conference Schedule

Friday, November 1, 2019

Room 1512 International Affairs Building, 420 West 118th St.

1:00PM-3:00PM – PANEL I 

Chair – Ronald Meyer

Maria Rewakowicz – War and Writing: Poetic Responses to the Russo-Ukrainian War in the Donbas

Iryna Shuvalova – The Many Multilingualisms of the Songs of the War in Donbas

Oksana Maksymchuk/Max Rosochinksy The Unintelligibility of Donbas: The Lines That We Won’t “Share”

3:30PM-5:30PM – PANEL II

Chair – Mark Andryczyk

Yuri Shevchuk Shell-Shocked. Ukrainian Cinema Facing the Realities of Russian Aggression

Vitaly Chernetsky – The School of War: Identity Crisis and Transformation in Two Films on the Donbas Conflict

Alina Zubkovych – From Evge to Haytarma: Symbolic Narration of “Home” in Ukrainian Crimean Tatar Feature Films

6:00PM – Reception 

Harriman Atrium, 12th Floor, International Affairs Building, 420 West 118th St.


Saturday, November 2, 2019

Room 1512, International Affairs Building, 420 West 118th St.

11:00AM-1:00PM – PANEL THREE

Chair – Yuliya V. Ladygina

Roman Ivashkiv – War Poetry from Ukraine in English Translation

Uilleam Blacker – Parapolemics in Ukrainian Cultural Representations of the War in Donbas

Yuliya Ilchuk The Art of Forgetting: Ukrainian Displaced Writers on the Displaced Persons’ Experience

2:30PM-4:30PM – PANEL FOUR

Chair – Oksana Remaniaka

Olena Martynyuk Tolerance Range of Gardens and Bodies: Female Optics in Art Reflecting War in the Donbas

Nazar Kozak – One Artist Army: Serhii Zakharov vs Russia’s Military-Visual Complex

Natalia Moussienko – An Individual and War in Contemporary Ukrainian Art

7:00PM – EXHIBIT OPENING – A Conversation – Vlodko Kaufman

Ukrainian Museum, 222 East 6th St

Event Videos