Practices of Solidarity: Ukrainian Refugee and Host Communities in Joensuu (Finland)


Friday, July 22, 2022, 1:15pm to 2:30pm


Zoom Webinar and YouTube

Olga Filippova, Associate Professor, School of Sociology, V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University; Project Researcher, Karelian Institute, University of Eastern Finland  

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Filippova poster with event details


According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 10 million people have now fled their homes in Ukraine because of the Russian invasion. Approximately 7 million people are displaced inside the war-torn country itself. And about 6 million people have left for different countries.

This situation forces many countries to undertake actions of support and, as a further step, to develop social, educational, and economic programs for Ukrainian refugees. Finland is one the countries which announced its support for Ukrainians. Such support comes from both official institutions/sources and Finnish volunteers.

This examination focuses on the community of Ukrainian refugees and the host community in Joensuu – a city in eastern Finland. The study is based on participant observation, interviews with refugees, volunteers, schoolteachers who work with Ukrainian children, and representatives of the city administration. The focus of this research is on what and how practices of social solidarity and social cohesion appear inside the refugee community, inside the host community, and between these communities. 

About the Speaker

Olga FilippovaOlga Filippova is Associate Professor of Sociology at V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University. Currently she directs international cooperation work in the School of Sociology. Since March 2022 she also is a Project Researcher at Karelian Institute, University of Eastern Finland. The geographical area of her specialization is Ukraine and Transnistria. Filippova’s research focuses on politics of identity; people's perceptions of the reforms in Ukraine; social (re)construction of the past; border studies; cyber-ethnography; drug use and HIV prevention and treatment; and urban food sustainability. Currently her research focuses on issues of forced migration: ‘home-leaving’ and ‘home-creating,’ memory, new solidarities, and cohesion. Her publications have appeared in Europe-Asia Studies; The Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics; Journal of American Academy of Religion; Border Studies; Ab Imperio; and The Anthropology of East Europe Review: Central Europe, East Europe and Eurasia. Since 2018 she is involved in developing the Program on Dialog and Differences and Conflict Analysis and Resolution at V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University (together with Mason University). In 2004-2005 she was a Fulbright scholar at Indiana University. In 2005-2009 she served as a member of the Kennan Institute Advisory Board. 

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