Visual recap – part 2: Charkiw/Charkov

While the year is coming to a close we’d like to finish the recap of our journey to Ukraine with images from the city of Charkiw/Charkov, our trip to the monastery of Sviatogorsk and the many organisations and experts we met.

Seb - Titel-Beitrag

Photo: Sebastian Pape // All photos in this article: Judith Geffert, Sebastian Pape, Marie-Thérèse Schreiber, Mathias Windelberg

The office of the Konrad Adenauer foundation was our central meeting point where we not only received a very warm welcome by Tim Peters, head of the regional KAS office in Ukraine, and his staff but were also hosted for our meetings with local experts:

Oleksij Krysenko, Professor of Political Science at Karazin Charkiw National University, gave us an overview on the political society of Charkiw from a historical and contemporary perspective. With Prof. Olga Philippova, from the School of Sociology of Karazin University, we discussed ethnicity and identity politics and her research on narratives in the Ukrainian-Russian borderland. Honorary Consul of Germany in Charkiw, Tetyana Gavrysh, presented the state and current activities of German-Ukrainian economic collaboration in the region. Prof. Gelinada Hrinchenko from Karazin University’s philosophical department gave a lecture on the history of emotions and how emotions affect the Ukrainian-Russian war. And Prof. Alexander Filonenko catched us with his personal account on the Maidan protests and its subsequent events. Please read more here and here. And finally, our fellow traveller Mathias Windelberg from Offenbach Design University introduced us to Spinoza’s affect theory.

The trip to the monastery of Sviatogorsk was definitely one of the highlights of our journey – not only because of the richly laid table we found, but because of the unique opportunity to speak with Archbishop Arsenyi about emotions, meaning and religion in times of war and to discover the unique architecture of the Lavra.

On the same day we met with the former governor of Donetsk oblast, Anatoliy Blyznik, who took us to the Lavra and connected our visit with an introduction to the political history of the region embodied also in the historical monuments surrounding the monastery. And at the end of the day we had the chance to discuss Mr Blyznik’s ideas and vision for Ukraine’s future.

Splendid views on a breathtaking scenery made our visit to Sviatogorsk an unforgettable experience. After all, Ukraine is not only a country at war.

At the office of local news site Kharkiv today we met with Ukrainian author and musician Serhiy Zhadan who shared his experience with art and culture in the borderland andthe relevance of language and emotion with us. 

At Karazin Charkiw National University we were received by Prof. Olena Muradyan and Olga Guzhva from the School of Sociology who gave us a short introduction into the international cooperation and research focus of the school. After a presentation on manipulation techniques and information security in the context of the Ukrainian-Russian war we finished our visit with a walking tour through the university building.

Boris Filonenko, student at Charkiw university and Euromaidan activist, took us for a walking tour to the main sites of the Maidan and Anti-Maidan protests in Charkiw.

We finished the day in a pub where we met more students from Ukrainian student organisation studrespublika. Read more here.

On our last day we visited a refugee camp which is inhabited by people from Luhansk and Donezk – a moving visit for all of us.

At the Gender Culture Center, Tatjana Isayeva guided us through an exhibition on the role of women in Ukrainian society and gave a subsequent presentation on Gender and Ukrainian patriotism.

Despite of our tight time-schedule we used every free minute to explore the city with sometimes unexpected encounters

…and of course writing our blog on floor 6 of our temporary home Hotel Mir.

Judith - Hotel

Photo: Judith Geffert

Marie - Hotel

Photo: Marie-Thérèse Schreiber

Fully equipped with food, drinks and great memories the night train brought us back to Kiev.

See you soon, Ukraine!




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