Friday, November 20th, 2020

While the leaders of the “Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics” have been waging an armed conflict with Russian support for more than five years, costing more than 13 000 lives, the “Republic of Abkhazia” declared itself an independent state in the wake of the Russo-Georgian War in 2008.

These conflicts at Europe’s geographical peripheries are still confronting the people in Eastern Ukraine and the South Caucasus with difficult decisions: should one join the secessionist movements, engage in peace solutions, cultural and social activities, or escape the zone of conflict by emigration?
To address these questions, the academic programmes “Ukrainian Research in Switzerland” (URIS) and “Center for Eastern European Studies” (CEES) jointly invite experts from Ukraine and the South Caucasus to an interdisciplinary workshop consisting of three roundtable discussions. Our guests will assess the situation in Eastern Ukraine and the South Caucasus in a comparative way and from a sociological, ethnological, historical and geographical perspective. In this context we want to shed light on topics such as the societal consequences of (internal) migration, interferences between tourism, culture and political (in)stability, and the question of how art and culture shape processes of social memory. Our workshop comprises three chaired panel discussions of 75 minutes each. Each speaker will be invited to briefly outline his/her current research and connect it to the overarching theme of the event, and this will be followed by a discussion with the audience.