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#7 Ukraine – Talking of War | 17 October 2022 | Gwendolyn Sasse, Kateryna Mishchenko & Jens Bisky (Moderation)

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Can one understand what leads to a war? How to explain, how to classify events, backgrounds, how do you speak and write about life in an ongoing state of emergency? Political scientist and Eastern Europe expert Gwendolyn Sasse and Ukrainian writer and publisher Kateryna Mishchenko looked at political and social dynamics in Ukraine's recent history. Based on Sasse's theses from her current book, they discussed about a language to think about, to „narrate “ this war. Between science and literature, analytical expertise and artistic approaches, they extended common perceptions to major political situations, everyday practices and life worlds in the midst of war. The journalist Jens Bisky moderated the discussion.

Gwendolyn Sasse is Scientific Director at the Centre for East European and International Studies (ZOiS), Einstein Professor of Comparative Study of Democracy and Authoritarianism at the Institute of Social Sciences at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Prinicipal Investigator at the Cluster of Excellence SCRIPTS. As a political Scientist she has been researching for decades on Eastern Europe and Ukraine - in particular on post-socialist transformation processes. Her research includes post-communist transformation processes, and the dynamics of war, migration and protest movements. Her work currently includes projects on the war and border regimes in Ukraine, and social mobilisation in Belarus.

Kateryna Mishchenko is a writer, publisher and translator. She is co-founder and editor of the Ukrainian publishing house Medusa and was the editor of Prostory, a magazine for art, literature and social criticism . She taught literary history at the Kyiv National Linguistic University and worked as a translator in the field of human rights. Mishchenko’s essays have been published in Ukrainian and international anthologies and magazines and she co-authored the book „Ukrainian Night” (Spector Books, 2015). From April to June 2022 K. Mishchenko was a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin, where she has lived and worked since the beginning of the war.

Jens Bisky is a journalist and author. Since 2021 he is editor-in-chief of Mittelweg 36 and Soziopolis, which are published by the Hamburg Institute for Social Research. From 2001 to 2020 he was a editor at the Feuilleton of the  „Süddeutsche Zeitung”. Jens Bisky is the author of the books „Born on August 13 (2004), „Kleist. Eine Biographie” (2007) and – most recently published – by „Berlin. Biography of a Great City” (2019). His essays have been published widely in magazines and newspapers. In 2017 Bisky was awarded the Johann Heinrich Merck Prize for literary criticism and essay by the German Academy for Language and Poetry.


In cooperation with C.H. Beck and silent green.
Language: German.