[-empyre-] Patriotism

O Danylyuk danylyuk at gmail.com
Sun Nov 9 23:32:00 EST 2014

The current events in my home country Ukraine is a good case study of
patriotism. The anti terrorist campaign in the eastern Ukraine that
followed the Maidan protests and change of power has an unprecedented
support of Ukrainian population: children sending their drawings to the
soldiers, population donate money to equip the Amy, number of the
volunteer's units fighting against separatists. Men dropped their everyday
jobs and went to protect the unity of the country. You are out of frame if
you are not a patriot in Ukraine nowadays. I keep asking if it was possible
to avoid civil war, yet there is a strong opinion that there is ' no other
way'. Soldiers coming back from the front are treated with the ovation in
their home towns: chanting Heroes!Heroes!, people even kneel before
soldiers. The other watch this on TV with the tears in their eyes. Western
democracies firmly support Ukrainian right to protect it's territory.USA is
the main ally of Ukraine in the fight against Russia. It is turning into
war by proxy, in my opinion, the standoff between America and Russia. This
is the second wave of radicalised patriotism in Ukraine since its
independence. This is also this phenomenon of Cossackdom, the revival of
the cossack's traditions, extremely romanticide view of history. Due to
their charismatic appearance cossacks became the iconic national image of
Ukraine. There are several youth organisations that train and educate youth
in the spirit of the cossack's  ethos. It is taken very seriously. For my
project Serious Games I visited the organisation of Cossacks Martial Arts.
I filmed their stunts on horses 30 C heat in the field last summer. On the
top of this there are Don cossacks in Russia, that are fighting on the side
of Ukrainian separatists, while Zaporozian ( Ukrainian) cossacks fight on
the side of pro-government forces. It a serious game indeed.

Olga Danylyuk
Director, designer
PhD candidate, Central School of Speech and Drama
London, UK
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