“Slava Ogirky”: Pickles, Genre, and Power in the Context of Asymmetric Warfare

Danille Elise Christensen (Virginia Tech)

Early in Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, a widely circulated tweet reported that a woman in Kyiv had hit a Russian drone with a jar of cucumbers. Online discussions tried to name the tweet’s genre: was it news? propaganda? a legend? a joke? an extension of matriarchal networks of surveillance and discipline? Redditors also generated their own genres, including heroic epithets and pickle puns. These forms of cultural production highlighted the absurdities of (asymmetric) violence and the arts of vernacular resistance, but they also sparked talk about the ethical implications of performing specific genres online, especially in the context of war IRL.

Part of 08-12 Life During Wartime, Saturday, October 15, 10:30 am–12:30 pm