“The Nexus of Decision24” 

Augustow, Poland

The Nexus of Decision 2024: Poland, Ukraine, Germany

An interdisciplinary journey into the substance of Memory, Freedom, Peace, and Security.

Organizers: Vitsche e.V., 

Co-organizers: Pilecki-Institut Berlin and Augustów 

Partner:  Konrad Adenauer Stiftung

Sponsors: Stiftung für Deutsch-Polnische Zusammenarbeit

Curator: Kataryna Tarabukina

For whom: philosophers, historians, political scientists, interdisciplinary artists, writers, researchers, peacebuilders, international relationships, memory studies, international security studies, aged 20-45, from Ukraine, Poland, and Germany.

When: 15-21.11.2024

Where: Augustów Pilecki Institute (Poland)

Language of residency: English

Deadline for application: 15.09.2024

OVERWIEW

“The Nexus of Decision” is an annual intensive week-long residency-academy dedicated to the concept of “Decision” in social, political, historical, existential, and other dimensions. It is designed for 15 young open-call selected participants from 3 countries: Ukraine, Poland, and Germany. This program focuses on the perspective of choice and decision, particularly influenced by the impactful Russian aggression in Ukraine. 

“The Nexus of Decision23” took place for the first time in the residency of Stiftung Genshagen and Berlin last year. During the workshops and seminars, the Polish-German-Ukrainian group discussed the sources of understanding of concepts such as peace, freedom, and security from the perspectives of political science, history, philosophy, memory cultures, and art. 

Learn more about previous residency-academy: https://berlin.instytutpileckiego.pl/de/news/nexus-2023 

This year, “The Nexus of Decisions24” we all meet in Augustow (Poland) to center on crucial historical, social, security, and cross-cultural aspects. The aim is to deepen mutual understanding among our three geopolitical regions, fostering collaboration for coherence in Europe. We aim to engage young intellectuals in debate and share their experience of their geopolitical region. The focus extends to comprehending the future of our security and exploring sustainable long-term peace solutions. Given the imminent tensions surrounding security decisions for Eastern European countries and the European Union. In the turbulent election years 2024 and 2025, there is a critical need for an educational effort to enhance explicit and informed discussion on international relations. Within this context, it becomes imperative to recognize historical precedents, particularly decisions made during 20th-century peace negotiations that significantly influenced enduring security challenges in the 21st century. The current environment is marked by ongoing conflicts and fragile peace agreements, lacking a comprehensive retrospective analysis. 

An interdisciplinary residency-academy program offering intensive blocks of lectures, workshops, and city/museum tours led by top scholars and practitioners from Ukraine, Poland, and Germany.

Main blocks of seminars, workshops, lectures: 

Memory and Mythology.

Memory and myths shape our history, politics, culture, and philosophy. Beyond relics of the past, they are dynamic forces molding our present and future. Explore historical myths, propaganda, and cultural blind spots in the West’s knowledge of the East, influencing decisions regarding ongoing aggression in Europe.

Long-term cooperation to reach sustainable peace. 

This section explores the complex geopolitical landscape, emphasizing the risks of peace negotiations with today’s Russia. It underscores the dangers of diplomatic engagement without fully understanding the historical context between Russia and Europe, focusing on the nuanced perspective needed. The objective is to empower individuals to critically assess decisions made by communities, states, and diverse stakeholders, advocating for strategies that ensure long-term global peace, freedom, and security. 

New Crises, New Paradigms.

In this block, we will explore how to navigate through the new crises and challenges that Germany, Ukraine, and Poland face after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Middle East crisis, and the Global Security ecosystem.  We assess the potential rightwing ascendancy in Germany and its correlation with state security and security in the EU. Additionally, we’ll examine how new paradigms seem to emerge as consequences of old problems that were long set aside and how turbulent the decisions towards security and freedom are reshaping Germany, Poland and Ukraine as well as the whole of Europe

SELECTION

Participants will be selected in an Open Call procedure, with a maximum of 15 people (5 from Germany, 5 from Ukraine, 5 from Poland). Refugees from Ukraine are welcome.

OUR OFFER INCLUDE

Participants will be selected in an Open Call procedure, with a maximum of 15 people (5 from Germany, 5 from Ukraine, 5 from Poland). 

Temporary displaced people from Ukraine are welcome.

The program covers:

  1. Participation in the lectures, seminars, and workshops of the residency program „The Nexus of Decision 2024″
  2. Accommodation and catering in Augustów are covered in full. 
  3. Travelling expenses for participants from Poland and Germany are covered in the range of up to 60,00 euros.
  4. Travelling expenses for participants from Ukraine are covered in full. 
  5. Selected participants will be picked up/dropped off from/to Warsaw.

AN APPLICATION SHOULD BE SUBMITTED ONLY THROUGH ONLINE FORM

  1. The application should be submitted only through this application form https://forms.gle/EGx2aSd1aQQXRhyR9
  2. The organisers reserve the right to contact the selected candidate(s) for additional online interviews if needed.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • The application form should be fielded on the deadline;
  • Application documents will be accepted in English only;
  • Courses, lectures and workshops will be held in English;
  • The results of the recruitment procedure will be announced by 10.10.2024
  • The list of selected participants will be published:

– on Vitsche e.V. website https://vitsche.org/ and social media pages
– on the website of the Pilecki Institute: pileckiinstitut.de and social media pages

If you have any questions, please send the email to kateryna.tarabukina@vitsche.org 

The organizers are not under any obligation to substantiate the enrolment committee’s decisions, and no appeal procedure has been provided. For candidates selected to participate in the project, the present document will constitute an attachment to the agreement concluded between any such candidate and Vitsche e.V.

Organizer: Vitsche

Co-organizer: Pilecki-Institut Berlin and Augustów

Partner: KAS (Konrad Adenauer Stiftung)

Sponsored by: SDPZ (Stiftung für Deutsch-Polnische Zusammenarbeit)

We invite early-career researchers from Ukraine, Moldova, and Germany to join the Truth to Justice Platform, an initiative to combat russian disinformation through a collaborative network of media, art, and academic professionals. This project addresses the complexities introduced by russian hybrid warfare and the pervasive threat of disinformation, particularly in Germany.

Selected researchers will participate in an online fellowship mentored by Dr. Dmytro Iarovyi, Associate Professor at the Graduate Department of Social Sciences and Humanities, Kyiv School of Economics, starting this fall. Fellows will develop policy papers or research proposals aimed at countering disinformation with the support of international experts.

Fellowship Details:

  • Application Deadline: August 4, 2024, 23:59
  • Initial Screening: August 9, 2024
  • Interviews: August 9 – August 20, 2024

Eligibility:

  • Early-career researchers from Ukraine, Moldova, or Germany
  • PhD holders (completed no earlier than 2021), current PhD students, prospective PhD applicants, or communication practitioners in related fields
  • Fluency in English required

Expected Outcomes:

  • PhD Holders/Current PhD Students/Practitioners: Policy paper with practical recommendations
  • Prospective PhD Applicants: Comprehensive research proposal

Submit your CV, cover letter, and project description by August 4, 2024, here: https://forms.gle/wnBqhGUykMtqzdA79 

Results announced on August 20, 2024.

Visit https://vitsche.org/ for more info.

#CivilSocietyCooperation 

The Truth to Justice Platform 

Open Call for Artists: from Ukraine, Moldova, and Germany

Deadline: 04.08.2024

Call for artistic projects dealing with digital propaganda, abuse of history, propaganda narratives, and how these tactics shape perceptions and distort reality. russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine marked a dramatic escalation in the use of propaganda and disinformation. Before the invasion, these tactics were used to create division, weaken Ukrainian sovereignty, and manipulate public perception. However, the invasion became a focal point for a massive disinformation campaign. Fabricated narratives, weaponized social media, and distorted reporting aimed to justify the invasion, demonize Ukraine, and obscure the actual human cost of the war.

 How do we feel about disinformation in everyday life? How does it affect our connections in communities? How does it influence our decision-making process? These are the questions on which we wish to reflect collectively through different experiences and artistic practices. 

Project Overview: The Truth to Justice Platform is an international initiative designed to combat the pervasive threat of disinformation, predominantly russian, through a collaborative network of media, art, and academic professionals. 

This project aims to raise awareness and actively engage stakeholders in addressing and countering disinformation, explicitly focusing on the complexities introduced by Russian hybrid warfare. The alarming entanglement in Germany of Russian propaganda, particularly among individuals who distrust established media, underscores the urgency of this initiative. 

Ukraine and Moldova’s longstanding experiences combating Russian and other neo-colonial propaganda are a crucial foundation for this project.

Given the 2024 elections worldwide and the growing threat to freedom of expression from radical movements and disinformation campaigns on different media, there is a pressing need for enhanced international exchange of experiences and knowledge to address this serious threat effectively.

Link to the application form: https://forms.gle/iyg5yNDKk73MTvdD7 

Deadline of Open call: 04.08.2024

Language of fellowship: English 

OUR OFFER INCLUDES: 

 

  • Two-Months long online curatorial guided fellowship (start 09.09.2024)
  • Development of 4 art projects (production costs up to 300 Euro).
  • An online artist fellowship program for two months is granted for 1,200.00 monthly.
  • Showcase in Berlin during the conference – beginning of December 2024 – to be confirmed
  • Artist talk during the conference in Berlin in December
  • Transport and accommodation in Berlin during the showcase at the conference
  • Publication on the platform Truth to Justice

A COMPLETE APPLICATION SHOULD INCLUDE

  1. CV in PDF format (two pages maximum) and  portfolio (max 70 MB); 
  2. Motivation letter
  3. Draft of an  artistic idea for the project you would like to submit and develop during the fellowship. 
  4. Please fill out the application form here till 04.08.2024: https://forms.gle/iyg5yNDKk73MTvdD7 

The organizers reserve the right to contact the selected candidate(s) for additional online interviews and for one online group meeting. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • Application documents will be accepted in English only;
  • Fellowship will be held in English;
  • If you have any questions, please feel free to contact kateryna.tarabukina@vitsche.org
  • The results of the recruitment procedure will be announced by (19.08). The list of selected participants will be published:
  • The organizers are not obligated to substantiate the enrollment committee’s decisions.
  • No appeal procedure has been provided for candidates selected to participate in the project, and the present document will constitute an attachment to the agreement concluded between any such candidate and Vitsche e.V.

ORGANIZERS

Participants: selected 4 artists from Ukraine, Moldova, Germany

Partner Institutions: Vitsche, Arta Azi

Program Coordinator: Kateryna Tarabukina

Assistance Coordinator: Rusanda Alexandru Curca

Curator of Fellowship: Ksenia Malykh

Open call Jury: Kateryna Tarabukina, Rusanda Alexandru Curca, Ksenia Malykh

 

Project granted by: Bundesamt für Auswärtige Angelegenheiten (Auswärtiges Amt)

 

#CivilSocietyCooperation 

On May 30th at Bard College Berlin‘s Lecture Hall from 18:30 to 21:30 the presentation of the Ukrainian Decolonial Glossary will take place followed by a public discussion and a chance to network with others.

Event Details: 

Presentation and discussion will be held in English. Entry is free.

The Ukrainian Decolonial Glossary compiles essential concepts from de- and post-colonial theories specifically relevant to Ukraine. This unique lexicon created by Ukrainian researchers, writers, and artists, focuses on contemporary issues linked to colonialism, imperialism, and the Soviet past. This resource is designed for those in the cultural sphere and related fields, aiming to encourage dialogue and acknowledge subjectivity in the hierarchy of knowledge archives in various institutions. 

Following the presentation, invited speakers will discuss the present state and future possibilities of Ukrainian decolonial thought, art, and culture. Participants will examine the importance of decolonial theory in understanding russia and the Soviet Union, critically analyze the notions of colonialism and coloniality within the Ukrainian context, and draw parallels with other colonial experiences, such as those in Poland and Latin America.

Meet the Panelists:

Dr. Agata Lisiak, Migration Studies professor and Academic Director of the Internship Program at Bard College in Berlin. In her publication “The Making of (Post)colonial Cities in Central Europe,” she examines how postcoloniality impacts urban life in Central European cities.

Dr. Pablo Valdivia is a researcher at the European University Viadrina specializing in Western European Literature. He recently co-organized an international conference titled “Belligerent Accumulation Natural Right, Valorization, and Aesthetics in Colonial Modernity: Histories–Transformations—Resistances.”

Valeriia Buradzhyieva is a curator and artist pursuing a Master’s degree in Performance Studies at Stockholm University. She is also a co-curator for the online platform SONIAKH, which focuses on post- and decoloniality in Ukrainian culture and art.

Kateryna Demerza is pursuing a PhD in philosophy at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, focusing on memory and space studies, and is a head of communications at Vitsche. During the discussion, she will share the approaches Vtische is pursuing to work with russian imperialism in Germany.

Galyna Yarmanova is a researcher teaching courses on gender, sexuality, and feminism at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. She recently led a talk as part of a series at Bard College on “Feminist Pedagogy and Theory in the Times of Crises” examining the impact of neoliberalization on the devaluation of feminist and queer theories in Ukraine.

Moderator: Yurii Boiko is currently a visiting scholar at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and  research assistant at the European University of Viadrina. Yurii is pursuing a PhD in philosophy and is a co-author of the Glossary. 

Join us to explore the glossary, engage in dialogue, and network.                                

For further information, please contact: press@vitsche.org

In April, we launched our new fundraising campaign, #UkraineVerstärker_in. Our goal was to raise 30k€ within a month to purchase and transport an evacuation bus to Kropyvnytskyi Hospital. This hospital is near the frontlines in Ukraine’s southeastern region, an area severely affected by daily russian bombardment. We are thrilled by the results and eager to share the finalized reports with you!

We surpassed 30k € and raised a remarkable 42.7k € ! Thanks to this incredible support, we could purchase extra equipment, including a second rescue car and medical backpacks.

The bus can transport 9-11 injured individuals at once and is fully equipped to ensure each person has access to medical care during the journey. The ambulance is crucial for immediate rescues of those affected, and the backpacks are stocked with essential medical supplies, to help increase survival chances before reaching the hospital.

We are incredibly grateful to our partners at BambergUA, who procured and personally delivered the rescue vehicles and critical medical supplies to the rescue workers. Thanks to all of you, everything arrived swiftly to its destination and is already helping Ukrainians to save lives.

This unique fundraising model, inspired by Ukrainians, surpassed our expectations in Germany! We are amazed by the positive response, and plan to use this approach in future fundraisers. 

Our sincere thanks go out to our 13 Ukrainverstarker*innen for supporting this project and helping us reach a broader audience.

Thank you: Patrick Heinemann, Franziska Davies, Rebecca Harms, Enno Lenze, Niklas Wenzel, Frank Peter Wilde, Christian Hagemann, Fabian Hoffmann, Simon Vaut, Till Mayer, Thomas Ney, Mattia Nelles, and Robin Wagener!

The campaign’s success was remarkably swift! We reached the required amount in just three days, and within the following two days, an additional 10k € was donated.

Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to the 460 donors. The average donation sum was 75.79€, and ranged from 1€ donations to 2,000€. Regardless of the sum, you have made a significant impact.

Your support allowed us to exceed our goal and obtain more vital equipment than expected! Your support helps save the lives of Ukrainians under constant russian attacks and is an incredible reminder of the unity within our community.

Thank you all for saving lives!

Let us keep donating and supporting Ukraine in all possible ways.

russia WILL lose

The absence of memorials in Germany for the over 10 million Ukrainian WWII victims has become painfully more apparent since russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The existing memorials are solely dedicated to the Soviet Union, neglecting countries like Ukraine and others that suffered under both Soviet and Nazi regimes. 

The Soviet Memorials in Berlin serve as stark reminders of this, displaying quotes from Stalin, a ruthless dictator responsible for mass murder, deportation, and labor camps. Despite the brutal war in their homeland caused by russia, the Ukrainian community in Germany is obliged to commemorate their fellow citizens and ancestors in a place that represents oppression, dictatorship, and pain. 

The atrocities of Stalin’s purges and the initial period of German occupation in Ukraine are often overlooked in the historical narrative. After the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, Einsatzgruppen, specialized killing squads, were utilized by the Third Reich to carry out mass executions resulting in the deaths of over two million Jews. Ukraine was one of the countries most affected by this “Holocaust by Bullets.” 

In September 1941, for the first time in history, a major European city witnessed the premeditated murder of its Jewish population at the ravine of Babyn Yar on the outskirts of Kyiv. In just two days, German occupiers executed 33,771 Jewish residents and threw their bodies into a mass grave.

The Nazis continued to use Babyn Yar for mass executions during their occupation of Kyiv from 1941 to 1943. Among the estimated 100,000 victims, around two-thirds were Jewish, while the rest consisted of Roma, Soviet POWs, activists, nationalists, psychiatric patients, and religious figures. The Babyn Yar massacre, the largest mass killing of WWII, has been consistently suppressed in historical memory. 

The Soviet Union’s policies for Holocaust remembrance involved censorship, concealment of records, distorting facts, and repression of the events. This made it impossible to commemorate Babyn Yar post-war. The first memorial at Babyn Yar, was not created until 1976, and honored “Soviet citizens,” aligning with the Soviet practice of subsuming all victims under the umbrella of Soviet civilians. Germany’s historical memory landscape still reflects this stance, as Soviet memorials are primarily linked to russia and are legally maintained under an agreement between Germany and russia. 

The devastating effects of the German occupation in Ukraine included burned villages, deportations, forced labor camps, and mass executions. Ukrainian territory faced extensive destruction, while German aggression only affected approximately 3% of russian territory. Despite Ukraine’s contributions to the global victory against the Nazis, russia claims this triumph while erasing Ukraine’s vital role. Monuments that ignore Ukraine’s sacrifices, or the absence of monuments entirely, continue to perpetuate a cultural memory of denial and distortion.

As part of the Ukrainian community in Germany, we strongly urge Germany to promptly address its historical stance on the Second World War and the Soviet Union. We call on the German government to recognize Ukraine as a direct victim of the terrors of National Socialism and establish a memorial in Berlin to honor the sacrifices made by Ukraine during World War II. 

The brutal murders of six Ukrainians in Germany this year, including two servicemen undergoing rehabilitation and young basketball players, have sparked outrage and a call to action.

To honor the victims and demand justice, a protest march is planned for Friday, May 3rd, 2024.

March Details:

  • Start Time: 6:00 PM (18:00)
  • Starting Point: Auswärtiges Amt (German Federal Foreign Office)
  • Route: The march will proceed from the Auswärtiges Amt to the russian Embassy, then to the Bundestag (German Parliament), before concluding at the Ukrainian Embassy.

Memorial Open Throughout the Week:

In addition to the protest march, a memorial space has been established near the Ukrainian Embassy since Monday, April 29th. The memorial will remain open until Saturday, May 4th, offering the public a space to pay respects to the victims.

Demands for Change:

The protest march aims to raise awareness about these horrific crimes and demand immediate action from the German government, including:

  • Conducting thorough investigations and ensuring those responsible are brought to justice.
  • Implementing strong security measures to protect Ukrainians in Germany.
  • Stopping the spread of russian propaganda and hate speech that fuels violence.
  • Closing russian institutions such as russian house used to spread disinformation.

We urge the public to join this important event and stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian community. Whether you can participate in the march or simply visit the memorial to pay your respects, your presence sends a powerful message.

Let us honor the victims and demand a safer environment for Ukrainians in Germany. Together, we can raise our voices and demand change.

For further information, please contact: press@vitsche.org

 

 

Berlin, April 26 – On the 38th anniversary of the Chornobyl disaster, a demonstration will be held at the Kanzleramt (Berlin) from 18:30 to 20:00 to highlight the critical situation in Ukraine and the need for urgent response. A performative installation about the destruction of Ukrainian cities will happen at 17:15 before the demo.

This time, the demonstration covers four main topics:

  • Chornobyl anniversary: We honor the victims and remind the world of the lessons learned about safety and the perils of secrecy under oppressive regimes.
  • Nuclear Blackmail: russia’s aggression has escalated to dangerous levels, targeting nuclear facilities and using them as tools of war and blackmail. The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest, has been under their control for over two years. It’s under threat, facing constant blackouts due to russian attacks on electricity lines and risking a nuclear catastrophe. russia also uses the Zaporizhzhia plant as a shield, launching attacks from there and shelling Ukrainian-controlled territory across the Dnipro River.
  • Critical infrastructure and the whole energy system under threat: Kharkiv, Kherson, Dnipro, Chernihiv, and other Ukrainian cities face destruction as Ukraine lacks crucial air defense systems to protect its cities from russian missiles. Critical infrastructure is severely damaged, which can cause the future abandonment of whole cities due to the inability to live there.
  • Urgent Action Needed: Increased sanctions, military aid, and a united front against russia’s aggression.

“We express our heartfelt gratitude to Germany for promptly providing IRIS-T air defense systems, 3 Patriot systems, ammunition, and ongoing assistance. However, more action is needed. We urge for intensified pressure on russia, including imposing sanctions on Rosatom, closing gaps in sanctions, and ensuring that russia is held accountable for its actions.

Iryna Shulikina, CEO of Vitsche

Action plan:

  • 17:15: Performance/installation symbolizing the devastated cities in Ukraine.
  • 18:30: Demonstration with speakers giving inputs on the situation in Ukraine and possible consequences for the whole world, calling for decisive action to support Ukraine and enforce peace.

We invite you to come to the demo and would be grateful for media support of our cause.

#UkraineNeedsAirDefense #MakeRussiaPay #StopRussiasNuclearBlackmail