A Conversation between Kimberly St. Julian-Varnon and Emily Channell-Justice
Kimberly St. Julian-Varnon, Doctoral student, Department of History, University of Pennsylvania
Emily Channell-Justice, Director, Temerty Contemporary Ukraine Program, Ukrainian Research Institute, Harvard University
Live on our YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/huriyt
Sparking outrage fueled by a long, enduring history of racial injustice and police brutality, George Floyd's death inspired sustained Black Lives Matter protests throughout the United States. For Ukrainians and those who study Ukraine, the sight of riot police in formation and with heavy gear standing before large groups of protesters is a familiar one. In 2014, Ukraine's Euromaidan protests erupted into violence and, eventually, revolution.
How similar are these two moments in history? Aside from optics, are there shared elements that may better inform our understanding of each?
Join the Temerty Contemporary Ukraine Program on Tuesday, August 11 for an online discussion of Euromaidan and Black Lives Matter. TCUP Director Emily Channell-Justice – who was present at Euromaidan – will be joined by Kimberly St. Julian-Varnon, a PhD student in history, to examine the connections between these two movements.
This conversation will draw on Kimberly St. Julian-Varnon's recent article in Krytyka.
"The context of the two protests may be different, but at the heart of both social movements, government institutions’ refusal to recognize the demands of the people. Furthermore, by weaponizing law enforcement against its citizens, the legitimacy of the state is severely undermined on both the local and national levels. The inability to hold the members of the police accountable for the killing of African Americans and the lack of accountability for those in the security forces who turned their weapons on protestors in the Maidan are effectively two sides of the same coin. [...] It is meaningful that Euromaidan is also known as the Revolution of Dignity, the Ukrainian citizens’ demands for European integration. The concept of dignity is also what is at stake for the demonstrators in America. Dignity, in this case, meaning the recognition of the full and equal citizenship of African Americans in the United States."
Top Photo by Emily Channell-Justice;
Bottom Photo by Quinn Norton. Source: Flickr via Krytyka