Elżbieta Olzacka: The Memorialization of the Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity (2013-2014) and the War in Donbas (2014 -) in the Public Space of Ukrainian Cities
This research aims to analyze memorialization processes of the Revolution of Dignity and the war in Donbas taking place in the public space of Ukrainian cities. I focus on mnemonic practices of commemoration and their products, including both material objects (such as memorials, exhibitions, public art) as well as social performances, in which the meanings concerning these events and their participants are created and presented at the intersection of individual and social remembrance. I believe that this may lead to the reconstruction of the mutual relations between “communicative memory”, referring to the historical experiences of contemporary people, and “cultural memory”, the transmission of meanings from the past through cultural materializations, in the process of memorizing recent and current traumatic events.
Elżbieta Olzacka is an Assistant Professor at the Centre for Comparative Studies of Civilisations, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland. She has received Master’s degrees in Sociology (2007) and Russian Studies (2011), and a PhD in Sociology (2014) from the Jagiellonian University. She has held numerous short research stays, which include the Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia; the Centre for the Study of War, Propaganda and Society at the University of Kent, Canterbury; the Center for Transcultural Asian Studies (CETRAS) at the University of Freiburg, and the Centre of Contemporary Central Asia & the Caucasus at The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. In 2018, she was a Visiting Scholar at The Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University, USA. Her interests include theories of war and conflict in sociological, anthropological and cultural study perspectives. Several of her papers, as well as her book War and Culture. The Early Modern Military Revolution in Western Europe and Russia, have been devoted to the role of cultural context in the analysis of historical and contemporary wars. Her main areas of interest also include the culture, society and history of the former Soviet region (especially Eastern Europe and Central Asia). In 2014-2016, she conducted a research project, financed by the Polish National Science Center, dedicated to the civil war in the Republic of Tajikistan. In 2018, she started a research project devoted to the process of shaping new national heroes and their representations in the public spaces of Ukrainian cities. Her current research is on the dynamics of national identity and collective memory construction in the context of conflict.