The Writings from the War / Я пишу з війни collection consists of testimonials of Ukrainians about their experience of the Russian invasion of their country. The project’s archiving coordinator Alex Averbuch periodically deposits firsthand testimonials transmitted to the project team from various hiding places; from shelters, train stations, and refugee camps; from besieged cities. The project’s team also includes Valentyna Vzdulska (the initiator of the project), Daria Bairak and Maryna Solohub (SMM managers and co-coordinators), as well as numerous volunteers assisting in translating the testimonials and maintaining project platforms (website, social media).
The mission of Writings from the War is to collect, preserve, and disseminate these testimonials, both in the language of the original and English translation, so as to provide a documentary source for researchers, academics, students, journalists, artists, and the public in general. There are testimonials by soldiers, volunteers, doctors, drivers, teachers, animal rights activists, cooks, artists, and scientists – people of all professions; by adults and children, displaced persons, rescuers and the rescued – in short, anyone interested in sharing their experience with the world. This is a panoramic picture of the wartime “everyday,” reflecting private experiences during this catastrophe. All the testimonials have been provided to the project team by the witnesses themselves, and every story has a title, and a record of the person behind it.
The project has been carried out since March 2022 in collaboration with the University of Alberta’s Kule Folklore Centre.