Under the title “War in Ukraine – Perspectives for Science”, the Volkswagen Foundation supported the organization of a series of symposia, to mark one year since Russia’s full-scale attack on Ukraine. The event took place between 22-24 February, 2023, and was hosted at the Kongresszentrum Schloss Herrenhausen in Hannover.
The participants were invited to reflect upon the impact of the war on scientific research, against the background of the new fractures and identity crises it has produced in the region and beyond. Not surprisingly then, most symposia that were part of this broader event focused on language, thus analyzing how narratives, discourses, and memory are being reshaped in this difficult context.
The symposium and workshop dedicated to urban research was initiated and organized by three members of the cities.building.culture.-Consorium, Carola Neugebauer (RWTH Aachen), Elena Batunova (RWTH Aachen), and Barbara Engel (KIT Karlsruhe), together with Nebojša Čamprag (TU Darmstadt), and Annegret Haase (UFZ Leipzig).
The symposium discussed the challenges of the war for cities and urban research, both in Ukraine and more generally in the region, while also aiming to offer an open platform for developing new ideas and exploring perspectives for further cooperation among scholars of post-socialist and post-Soviet space. Destruction and reconstruction, migration, memory and memorialization, de-colonialization, but also urban resilience were among the most debated topics.