Archiving against erasure: guerilla preservation in the context of Russia's war against Ukraine

Speaker: Dr Victoria Donovan (St Andrews)

Convenor: Dr Darya Tsymbalyuk (St Antony's)

This presentation draws on interviews and participant observation work conducted with activist communities and heritage practitioners in the Ukrainian East before February 2022, and online interviews conducted since the beginning of the escalation. It details the conditions of composite precarity in which grassroots and community preservationist initiatives emerged in the East and explores how participants in these initiatives understood their work. In the presentation, I argue that the infrastructure of voluntarism formed in the years after the Maidan Revolution in 2014 provided the foundations for the new and urgent wave of preservationist work after February 2022, from museum evacuations, to visual and cultural archiving work, and documentary filmmaking.

Ukraine: Resisting Cultural Erasure - This short seminar series celebrates Ukrainian culture and reflects on resistance to cultural erasure by artists, filmmakers, musicians, and others. It has been put together to mark the month of February, when on the 24.02.2022 Russia escalated its war on Ukraine to a full-scale invasion.