From Myths to Memes: Transnational Memory and Ukrainian Social Media

Mykola Makhortykh | My project deals with World-War-II memory in Ukraine and its transformations in our digital age. If many Western-European societies have experienced a boom in World-War-II and Holocaust commemoration, Ukrainian war memory is marked by ambiguous relationships between processes of collective remembering and forgetting. This ambiguous stance to war memory does not stand on itself: it is tangibly affected by the processes of de-Sovietization, nationalization, and digitization that the country is currently undergoing.

This project zooms in on – especially the last of – these processes. Testing transnational and digital memory theory against the realities of life in post-Soviet Ukraine, From Myths to Memes asks whether existing studies are right in ascribing civic-empowerment potential to digital media. Does this potential hold true for post-socialist space? And how does digitization affect the formation of transnational memory practices? I explore these questions by unraveling digital discourse on two milestones in Ukrainian war memory – the captures of the cities of Lviv and Kyiv – in a selection of several social-media platforms.

supervisor | Ellen Rutten (UvA)