We are watching the violent events in Ukraine with anger, shock, and heavy hearts. We want to join the chorus of international voices that have expressed their solidarity with Ukraine and its fight for sovereignty, and condemned Russia’s military aggression and invasion.
Our hearts are with those in Ukraine and those who have friends, colleagues, and relatives affected by the conflict.
Our goal in organizing this conference has been to support historical scholarship that encourages dialogue, partnership, and exchange between individuals and institutions from diverse contexts.
We wish to reiterate this goal of open dialogue, especially in times when cultural nationalisms, empire, and isolationism are once again rearing their heads. When viewing the news feels like a long, old yesterday rather than a brave new world, this type of scholarship becomes all the more vital.
Ways to help
Besides the larger humanitarian organisations, there are small initiatives helping people on the ground. The following projects are being run by friends and colleagues of Soviet Materialities conference:
The Kharkiv and Przemyśl Project (KHARPP), a grassroots initiative supporting communities on the eastern borders of Ukraine and Poland.
Ukrainian House, a Polish charity which is run by Ukrainians, for Ukrainians. They have set up shelters throughout the country.
Spaika Media is a grassroots media platform dedicated to art activism, actionism and performance in post-Soviet territories. The project came about because of a paucity of resources about art activism, actionism and performance in post-Soviet territories. We are aware that the term “post-Soviet” is in need of critical deconstruction, with which the project engages. Due to increasing censorship and difficulty of access to public space in many territories marked by the collapse of the USSR, Spaika Media believes it is ever more important to provide a means to visibility and solidarity across these spaces.
The Spaika Media project has been active since 2020 with a team of 9 Russian-speaking women researchers from 4 countries. Because of the increasingly dangerous situation for activism in Russia, several Russia-based members of the collective have to now remain anonymous. Since 2020, it has run social media information channels and is currently working on a webpage dedicated to art activism, actionism and performance. The platform has been very active in publishing art and solidarity related information about Belarus and Ukraine.