Calendar of ICES

Workshop Digital wars: media and technologies during the war in Ukraine

- , All-day
RIGA 601

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Workshop at Flensburg (Germany),

12-13 October 2023

in RIGA 601

The ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war is characterized not only by material battles reminiscent of WWII but also by the use of state-of-the-art media technologies. The rise of Web 2.0 has fundamentally transformed our understanding of war which evolves as a battle of technologies or "digital war" (Merrin, 2018). Along with the state structures of power that engage in digital wars on various levels of national security policies, individuals are empowered to ‘participate’ in war online – when anyone in any part of the world is able to comment, share images or video content based on their private perception of the armed conflict. Moreover, military actors tend to digitalize their war experiences, so war becomes even more open for eyewitnessing with head camera footage, videos or images shared by soldiers from battlefields, hospitals, muddy trenches, or destroyed towns.

In times of deep mediatization, data processing is fundamental for the construction of our sozial reality when human and non-human actors interact to construct meaning, create new senses and interpret the world. In addition to broader social and cultural transformations, digital technologies change how individuals experience and perceive their own ‘self’ regarding community, society and the globe. By reshaping various domains of social life, digital media technologies remain still unpredictable and challenging when we approach them as actors in armed conflicts.  

Although Russia’s aggression in Ukraine has been widely discussed from different research perspectives, the digital background of Russia’s war in Ukraine needs more academic attention as an example of a new digitalized war in a deeply mediatized world. Information leaks, artificial intelligence, hacking, satellites, drones, propaganda and fakes become a part of this war reality, wich prompts us to focus more attention on the virtual fronts of this war performed by digital media and technologies. Thus, this workshop aims to discover how digital media and technologies function during the Russo-Ukraine war, addressing specific questions: What new expectations and challenges for digital media emerged during the war? What is the role of digital media and technologies in documenting war crimes? Does digital eyewitnessing of the war contribute to the processes of decision-making on international levels? Does technological advancement define victory on the battlefield?


  DAY 1 / 12 OCTOBER 2023


War in the Age of the Smartphone (Matthew Ford, Swedish Defence University, Sweden)


PANEL 1 / CHAIR: Nadia Zasanska

From the "Language" Defense to the Full-Scale Attack: Legitimization of the War against Ukraine in the Russian Media (Liudmyla Pidkuimuha, Justus Liebig University of Gießen, Germany)

How Russian Media lost Democracy (Alyona Nesterenko, independent journalist and researcher of propaganda, Ukraine)

12:15–13:15 LUNCH

PANEL 2 / CHAIR: Hedwig Wagner

War Aesthetics, War Crime and Genozide on Telegram during Russia's Invasion of Ukraine (Ramón Reichert, University of Vienna, Austria)

Pereklychka or Propaganda? Unfolding of Telegram Communication in the Context of the Russian War in Ukraine

(Migle Bareikyte, European University Viadrina, Germany; and Mykola Makhortykh, University of Bern, Switzerland)

Can AI See the End of the War? Auditing the Representation of Russia's war in Ukraineby Bing AI (Mykola Makhortykh, Maryna Sydorova, Ani Baghumyan)

15:00–15:30 COFFEE BREAK

PANEL 3 / CHAIR: Kseniia Cherniak

Digital Testimony of Russia-Ukraine War: Memes and Cartoons about General Zaluzhny (Nataliya Bezborodova, University of Alberta, Canada; Orest Semotiuk, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland)

Memes of War: A Multimodal Framing Analysis of the Identity Construction in ProUkrainian Memes during the Russo-Ukrainian War (Michael Johan, University of Augsburg, Germany)

Cats and Crisis (Elena Korowin, Braunschweig University of Arts, Germany)



Swarm in Flux: The Limits of Smartphone-Mediated Participatory Warfare in Ukraine

(Roman Horbyk, Örebro University, Sweden)

19:00 DINNER
  DAY 2 / 13 OCTOBER 2023

PANEL 4 / CHAIR: Tobias Nanz

Fandom-Nationalism and the Eurovision Fan Community Online: The Case of Wiwibloggs (Irem Elbir, Europa-Universität Flensburg, Germany)

Commemoration and Past's Present in Online Media and
Russia's War on Ukraine
(Hedwig Wagner, Europa-Universität Flensburg, Germany)

Deconstructing Russian Militarized Masculinity and Mediated Propaganda of the "Soldier Hero" in the Full-Scale Invasion of Ukraine (Valentyna Shapovalova, University of Copenhagen, Denmark)

10:45–11:00 COFFEE BREAK

PANEL 5 / CHAIR: Hedwig Wagner

Orthodox Online Media After Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine(Jacob Lassin, Havighurst Center, Miami University, US)

Sacralization of War: Purity in the Digital Media of the Russian Orthodox Church (Nadia Zasanska, Europa-Universität Flensburg, Germany)


Workshop convenors:

Interdisciplinary Centre for European Studies (ICES) at the Europa-Universität Flensburg (EUF), Germany (Tabea Sophie Boeing, Kseniia Cherniak, Prof. Dr Hedwig Wagner); Center for War Studies at the Syddansk Universitet Denmark (SDU) and ICES at EUF, Germany (Assoc. Prof. Dr Tobias Nanz); Alexander-von-Humboldt-Foundation, Philipp-Schwartz-Initiative (Dr Nadia Zasanska) at ICES at the EUF, Germany


RIGA 601