We condemn the extended Russian attacks on Ukraine and declare our solidarity with all those affected by the Russian invasion in Ukraine, with the people who have to fight for their lives, those partaking in civil resistance, taking their anger and fear to the streets in Cherson and elsewhere, with the Ukrainians in the diaspora as well as with people in Russia and Belarus who are also protesting against war despite political repression.
We call on Putin to end war and suffering, and on all governments to make every possible effort to prevent it from escalating further, to take responsibility, and grant protection and safety to those fleeing from war, military conflict, and political repression.
We call for a position beyond nationalism, imperialism, and militarization, for a new thinking of security, safety, differences, and global interdependence informed by mutual and solidaric practices of care. We demand politics that aim to end military and – as deeply entangled with it – structural violence based on ethnicity, race, gender, class, dis/ability, and sexual orientation.
We stand in solidarity with civil protests in Ukraine as well as in Russia, especially with feminist and queer resistance against the war, with all those who flee from Ukraine and face racist discrimination at the borders, with the trans women who cannot leave the country due to their legal status, with LGBTIQ* refugees for whom the arrival in a supposedly peaceful country does not guarantee safety. These threats are not new nor are they exceptional to the devastating war in Ukraine. All the more we want to stress these different and intersectional effects of violence. It is with great concern that we learn about the fear of people belonging to the LGBTIQ* community in Ukraine facing political persecution through the Russian military as well as possible assaults of radical right-wing forces opposing the military attacks.
We call to end racist refugee politics, which re/produce differentiations between „good“ and „bad“ refugees, between those who are „like us“ and those „others“ and thus reinforce the biopolitical basis of racism in Europe. Ukrainian refugees, who in media and politics are described as being ‚more similar‘ to ‚us‘, are instrumentalized to once again denounce those who have fled war, famine, and colonial violence and those detained in camps at the borders of the “Fortress Europe”. It is our responsibility to resist and call out these narratives as well as provide alternatives that do not exacerbate discrimination.
As scholars, we acknowledge the decision of German funding institutions such as DFG and DAAD to stop their cooperations with/in Russia as a means to condemn the military attacks. Nonetheless, we also worry about the students and researchers, our colleagues, who themselves are in danger for positioning themselves against the war, and we understand our expression of solidarity as a commitment to practical support for them, too. We would strongly appreciate financial and institutional cooperation in doing so.
As media scholars in particular, we will also have the responsibility to observe the events of war and those related to it and to analyze them based on our expertise. But for now, it is even more important to voice and offer support and solidarity.
Also, from the background of the very recent experience within our local institutions, we only want to add the hint to https://scienceforukraine.eu, since they seem to enable quite unbureaucratic help in giving examples for individual initiatives.
To learn more about Solidarity networks in the war against Ukraine, see https://zfmedienwissenschaft.de/online/blog/solidarische-netzwerke-im-krieg-gegen-ukraine
AG Gender/Queer Studies, März 2022