A People’s Cyber War: Ukraine’s Digital Folklore and Popular Mobilization

Lada Kolomiyets (Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv)

For Ukrainian civilians, the Russian war on their country began in 2014. Since then, Ukrainians have been at the center of Ukraine’s virtual mobilization. In their attempt to influence an ongoing conflict in real time via virtual conversation, Ukrainian people opened new, "virtual" fronts on public platforms, acting as war diarists and witnesses. In thousands of posts and tweets, they share not only their irreparable losses and immense grief, but also their witty humor, full of positive energy, which has become a successful weapon against Russian propaganda. Like other aspects of the war in Ukraine, this people’s cyber war has multiple fronts. The Ukrainian folk voices and genres in cyberspace are greatly versatile: from ritual to new folklore genres such as memes and remakes of songs.

Part of V5-04 "When Things Are Very, Very Bad, We Laugh": Folklore from the War in Ukraine, Thursday, October 12, 10:30 am–12:30 pm