KOM higher: Memories in Future Tense - Anticipatory Practices of Ukrainian Virtual War Museums

15 maj 2024 15:15 till 17:00 Seminarium

This talk focuses on the role of Ukrainian Virtual War Museums in mediating, archiving, and memorializing the ongoing Russian war against Ukraine.

Through the lens of an ecological understanding of war, the study explores a specific aspect of memory production. It asks how do these virtual museums envision the future of Ukraine while mediating and remembering the full-scale invasion. More precisely, I examine the ways the spatiotemporal figure of ‘the future’ is present in the assemblages that compose the virtual museums of war. By ’virtual’ or ’virtuality’ I refer to a digital entity, such as a virtual museum, and something that might be actualized in the future (Deleuze and Guattari 1987). This assumption implies a potential future-oriented direction in both assemblages and virtuality.

To this end, this study engages with discussions surrounding the conceptualization of futurity and its manifold connections with perceptions of the past and present in disciplines such as history, memory studies, and anthropology, particularly focusing on practices of anticipation and the production of memory in the context of an ongoing conflict. Employing digital ethnography and digital methods, the paper analyzes two Ukrainian Virtual Museums of War—War Up Close and the War Fragments Museum—to illustrate the complex interplay between the museums' infrastructures and their exhibitions, aiming to grasp the complex interactions between past, present, and potential futures. In this regard, the case study serves to discuss (new) roles and practices of virtual museums in mediating ongoing wars when digitality is omnipresen§§t and affluent.

Sebastian Graf a PhD Candidate in History at Lund University since August 2021. His project explores digital memory politics and uses of history in contemporary Ukraine. In particular, he focuses on the ways the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine since 2014 is mediated and remembered in digital spaces. How does virtuality as a modality of remembering inform our understanding of an unfolding war? To this end, he maps the embeddedness of Ukrainian virtual museums in today’s connective environment of human and non-human elements. By combining new materialist thinking, digital methods, and digital ethnography, he sheds light on how virtual museums assemble renderings of war and how people make sense of it. 

Om händelsen:

15 maj 2024 15:15 till 17:00

Room A158, Språk och litteraturcentrum, Helgonabacken 12, Lund


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