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?
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