On February 24, 2022, Putin escalated his war on Ukraine into a full-scale invasion. Without hyperbole, I think it is safe to say that life will never be the same for many of us. Many North Americans are slowly waking up to the fact that the war on Ukraine is consequential not only for this region of the world, but for the whole of the global world order. I pray for peace in Ukraine, for the defeat of Putin, and for Ukrainian sovereignty to prevail.
Putin’s Russia has falsified history, made a childish simplification of it. The Russian military is now advancing a brutal assault on the entire population of Ukraine by arguing that Ukraine does not exist as an entity apart from Russia. The historic cities that the Russian military claims to be “protecting” are being reduced to rubble; they are desecrating their own shared history with Ukraine. It is sickening to witness, even as it is inspiring to see Ukrainians fighting back against this terrifying unprovoked attack.
My research going back to 2004 has centered on how the dynamic musical arena of Ukraine has shaped sovereign imaginaries that often refute simple narratives of Ukrainian history and identity, and reject binary geopolitical options. Since February 24, I’ve taken many opportunities to speak about this. I think about this as one front in the discursive battle against Putin’s attempted genocide.
Here are a few items that may be of interest if you are reading this now:
- Michigan State University Musicology hosted me for a lecture on March 2. “Understanding the War on Ukraine Through Its Musical Culture” [see additional materials here]
- A group of music scholars of Ukraine contributed to the creation of this list of resources for those wanting to learn more about Ukrainian musical cultures and/or to support displaced scholars: https://www.ethnomusicology.org/page/ukraine
- Many music scholars contributed to this “Collaborative Portrait Gallery” on the American Musicological Society’s Musicology Now blog: https://musicologynow.org/music-from-ukraine/
- Wesleyan University Press has made the first chapter of my book, Wild Music: Sound and Sovereignty in Ukraine, free to download. You can also read more here: https://www.weslpress.org/blog/2022/03/17/music-in-ukraine/
- Some of the other panels and talks can be found through a simple google search.
- Please take some time to learn and to share these resources if you can. And consider taking action, too. This linktree from Razom has a number of suggested actions you could take now (from donating to writing to members of Congress): https://linktr.ee/RazomForUkraine