March 1, 2022
[disclaimer: I am uncertain of how relevant this post will remain, given the volatility of the circumstances]
It is a morning blanketed in dove-grey, but perhaps not a morning for poetry. For as long as I can remember, my position of privilege (on paper, geopolitically, culturally) means I have sat with – rather than been forced into action on – the question of when thinking is not enough, or indeed, when conceptual work needs to pause in the face of extreme practical and visceral needs. Easy to write this from a European site that is at present eminently safe and sufficiently far from a border; easy to write this from the positionality of a EU citizen whose access to safety is not predicated on changing border policies.
I would like you to look – and act – here instead:
Here’s a big list you can feed into – this one is especially relevant for the Dutch context – or perhaps you might want to compile your own?
A letter from the East Europe Biennale Alliance: https://matterof.art/news/solidarity-with-ukraine-eeba-statement
A petition for art workers and art institutions to sign: https://www.change.org/p/art-world-art-world-oppose-russia-s-invasion-of-ukraine
A useful collation of resources from BAK:
A collection of resources compiled by the Global Shapers community:
Maybe you’re in Latvia, or you want to get your institution to do something similar:
Are you trying to get academics out of Ukraine? Maybe you can connect them to this, or – better – get your institution to do something similar:
Are you trying to help cultural workers out of Ukraine? Maybe you can connect them to this, or – better – get your institution to do something similar:
Have you got supplies, money, etc? Here’s a list of charities on Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/ukraine/comments/s6g5un/want_to_support_ukraine_heres_a_list_of_charities/
And a postscript, given that this blog is part of my contractual duties:
Perhaps it is on me, given my privilege of remove, to conceptualise and navigate why this particular war has stalled me in my working whilst the ongoing occupation of Palestine, the civil war in Yemen and more, went unreflected in my writing of the past year. This may be related to the (media-fuelled, racist-inflected) spectacle of certain events, their proximity to the geographies I inhabit, and so on – but right now doesn’t feel like the time to publically delve into my own privilege, white guilt and such (I’m more than happy to discuss those in other spaces with you). My only note, at this stage, is to not fall into an easy conflation of people with the choices their nation-states are making. Bans and boycotts affect people who might already be resisting – in ways that are varyingly visible to the ‘us’ of the outside – that which is happening to them as much as in their names.