Ukrainian events in London interviewed several participants asking to give their review of Platform Ukraine Symposium which they attended on September 19, 2014.
Darya Malyutina, social scientist with a PhD in Geography from UCL. Her research interests include post-Soviet and Russian-speaking migration to the UK, super-diversity, political transnationalism, as well as ethnography as a way of studying urban communities and social spaces and the ethical dilemmas of the fieldwork process. Currently, she focuses on the Ukrainian diaspora in London and political activism. She writes a blog at http://daryamalyutina.wordpress.com/
The Platform Ukraine Symposium on 19 September 2014 was an event that brought together experts with diverse backgrounds aiming to discuss the topical issues pertaining to the current crisis in Ukraine in the multidisciplinary format. This, according to the organisers, is one of the key features of Platform Ukraine as a project based on a series of workshops planned for this academic year. With multi- and interdisciplinarity currently being a buzzword in many research communities, it seems that this symposium managed to exploit the diversity of participating experts’ positions to its advantage, maintaining the thematic coherence and allowing for multivocal discussion of political, socioeconomic, cultural and ethical problems related to the Ukrainian crisis and research on it. The event has largely fit my expectations, with a number of brilliant speakers and some fruitful discussions during the presentations and after.
I would mention a few talks that particularly drew my attention. Among these was Olesya Khromeychuk’s paper on gender roles and the position of women in the Maidan during the Ukrainian revolution. As well, the final panel where the speakers discussed the ethical problems of studying post-socialist societies in times of crisis has resonated a lot with my own concerns as a qualitative researcher who often faces the task of making difficult ethical decisions before, during and after fieldwork. The panel addressed many of such questions related to making research more efficient while being sensitive to issues like getting access, maintaining anonymity, and taking into account safety of the researcher and the researched.
I would certainly like to attend Platform Ukraine workshops that are scheduled to take place this year. This project attracts me not just as a space for a researcher whose interests include Ukraine-related themes, but also as a broader space for theoretical and methodological discussion on the post-Soviet world, within the social sciences and possibly beyond them.
Taras Fedirko — PhD student at the Department of Anthropology, Durham University (UK); translator and co-editor of Prostory magazine of literature and social critique (Kyiv). Speaker at Platform Ukraine Workshop on October 16, 2014
«I enjoyed the Symposium put together by Platform Ukraine for its multivocality that exposed something new to the study of Ukraine and the broader region: an attempt at a dialogue across different disciplines, rather than at an eclectic ‘area studies’ synthesis. I most enjoyed the presentation by Kathryn Cassidy, who unlike some other presenters was very conscious and critical of the standard dichotomies underpinning much of the regional studies, while trying to deconstruct these dichotomies through ‘thick’ description and giving voice to people ‘on the ground’.
All in all, I found the networking element of the symposium more valuable than its content. I plan to attend the upcoming events organised by Platform Ukraine as I think there is a great potential in this multivocal group for fostering of the much-needed debate on the Ukrainian society.
Dr Anna Pechurina – BA MA PhD PGCE, Lecturer in Sociology, School of Social, Psychological and Communication Sciences Faculty of Health and Social Sciences
I liked the range of covered topics and the quality of all presentations. They generated interesting debates and raised some important questions about Ukrainian society and the approaches to study it. I enjoyed all papers presented at the event, especially third panel, as it was the most relevant to my research interests. I will be interested in attending other events organized by Platform Ukraine. I am especially interested in topics related to immigration, culture, identity, second generation migrants.
Platform Ukraine is now continuing with a number of Workshops. Read more about the upcoming one here.