Sharing our solidarity with Ukraine
We are appalled by the war of aggression that the Russian Federation has been waging on Ukraine since February 24, 2022. We deeply condemn this blatant violation of international law. We would like to express our solidarity with the Ukrainian students and graduates at the Institute of English and American Studies and we appreciate the support efforts that the University of Potsdam has started. For details, please visit https://www.uni-potsdam.de/en/international/service/center/io/informationen-zur-ukrainekrise .
We also are grateful to all students from Russia and Belarus who are part of the support effort for our Ukrainian students and their families, and we sympathize with them sympathise with them for the difficulties they are facing in this situation.
Many of us share a sense of powerlessness and speechlessness while glued to the newsreel or live ticker, and while the world that we have taken for granted appears to evaporate. At the same time, there are a million urgent things to be done. Thousands of refugees arrive at Berlin Main Station every day and relief work is the first and most pressing demand right here, right now – relief for all refugees. Likewise, political pressure from below must be upheld so that the measures so far taken to stop Putin and his war be intensified. In short, this is not the time for navel-gazing. But it is also true that we urgently need conversations on how we position ourselves in this situation, how it does or does not ‘change everything’, and also about the fear, confusion, anger, self-doubt we feel at this moment – not least as students of British and US imperialisms past and present as well as anti-colonial, decolonial, anti-racist and indigenous struggles.
If you wish to share your thoughts and feelings, your reflections, ideas and reactions, or simply to reach out to other members of the department community, you are very welcome to use the forum at https://moodle2.uni-potsdam.de/course/view.php?id=32302.
While we have taken steps in the past to support our students and colleagues who were facing war and crises at home, this is the first time we are creating such an exchange forum. We now think that we should have done this sooner, to support our students from Syria and other places in such times of crisis. We are urgently centering the needs of our students from Ukraine here and now, but we also hope that we can use this forum to build structures of support among all of our students, and to sustain this as a permanent support network for all.