Standing with Ukraine: The labour of life-making in displacement

  • Date: –17:00
  • Location: IRES Library, Gamla torget 3, 3rd floor
  • Organiser: Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies (IRES)
  • Contact person: Mattias Vesterlund
  • Föreläsning

In this talk, I offer a longer-term perspective on the movement of Ukrainian nationals, focusing on the links between post-2022 movements into the EU nation-states and the prior movement of Ukrainian nationals as ‘migrant workers’. The presentist focus on Ukrainian displacement in the context of Russia’s full-scale invasion overlooks a much longer history of the mundane and relatively invisibilised circulation of Ukrainian migrant workers. I want to shift the focus away from Ukrainian refugees as the recipients of humanitarian aid and assistance to show how Ukrainian migrant workers precariously employed in the EU service economies are the ones bearing the costs of social reproduction within the context of the invasion. Since the Temporary Protection Directive gives Ukrainian citizens little access to more expansive refugee protection and welfare rights, it, when coupled with the fatigue of ‘host societies’, gives rise to the question, who will reproduce the lives of Ukrainians fleeing the war? Drawing on fieldwork done in Warsaw in 2020-2022, I examine how the burdens of social reproduction are effectively displaced on Ukrainian migrant communities confronted with the responsibility of ensuring their own reproduction and survival. 

Daria Krivonos is a sociologist at the Centre for Research on Ethnic Relations and Nationalism, University of Helsinki. She is a PI of a project "Life-breaking and Life-making: Social reproduction and survival in times of collapse" (Kone Foundation, 2023-2026). Her research interests include race and racialisation in Eastern Europe, whiteness, social reproduction and migration. She conducts ethnographic fieldwork among Ukrainian migrant communities in Warsaw.