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Laughter during the war: Russian agression in Ukraine in political caroons and memes

Modern wars differ from the classic ones in that they use not only military equipment and regular troops. Values, ideology, culture, symbols, media, humor are becoming weapons in the 21st century…
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This research is part of the project No. 2022/45/P/HS2/02536 co-funded by the National Science Centre and the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 945339.


Guest lecture by Dr. Orest Semotiuk in Berlin

On July 10-12, Dr. Semotiuk was a guest speaker at the ZOiS – Zentrum für Osteuropa und internationale Studien where he gave a lecture on humor in wartime. During the speech, he not only talked about the functions of political humor and presented its possible classifications, but also presented selected materials from a corpus collecting cartoons and memes related to the Russian-Ukrainian War. The corpus, prepared by Dr. Semotiuk as part of the POLONEZ BIS project conducted at Institute of Slavic Studies Polish Academy of Sciences, includes 6,000 cartoons and 4,500 memes from more than 60 countries.

Is it possible to laugh during war?

17-18 June, the Past / Future / Art platform organized an event called “Are You OK?” (Discussion “Art and War»), which included a series of talks on the experience of the Russian-Ukrainian war. One of the participants of the event was Dr. Orest Semotiuk, who took part in the panel “Memes, caricatures, stand-up – strange experiences of Ukrainian humor during the war.” The recording of the discussion with Dr. Semotiuk is available online. Feel free to watch!