One way of testing the maturity of a society is to examine its understanding of history. This process often gives rise to prolonged disputes and conflicts around the events and figures of the past. Historical themes repeatedly become ground for speculation. Given all this, is it possible to untie the knots of social misunderstanding? What will help create a platform for fruitful discussions instead of dead-end fights? Why does the under-considered history of the period of the USSR’s collapse and the first years of independence have such special potential for Ukrainian documentary filmmakers?
In their research projects, the Arena Programme (John Hopkins University and the London School of Economics) and the Public Interest Research Lab present visual storytelling as a way of overcoming this social polarisation. During the presentation, Peter Pomerantsev and Natalia Humeniuk will talk about the research into the Ukrainian people’s reaction to the historical events in their country and the wider world, From Memory Wars to a Common Future: Overcoming Polarisation in Ukraine, as well as the possibilities which visual storytelling opens in this context, particularly in the year of the 30th anniversary of independence.