"Re-Imagining" the Homeland? Languages and National Belonging in Ukrainian Diasporas since the Euromaidan

Ivan Kozachenko

Abstract


From the first days of the Euromaidan protests, Ukrainian diasporas around the globe took an active part in supporting democratic change in Ukraine. These diasporic communities actively used social media to “represent” their national identity, to promote their visions of Ukraine’s past and future, and to network and coordinate their actions. This paper argues that the events of the Euromaidan made Ukrainian diasporas in Western countries “re-invent” and “re-imagine” their national belonging. In these processes historical memory, language, and regional identifications play a crucial part within the continuum between conservative ethnonationalist identities and “civic” ones that try to accommodate the ethnic and linguistic diversity of Ukraine in the diasporic setting. This study reveals that “civic” identity elements became more visible across Ukrainian diasporas, but that Russian aggression somewhat haltered the acceptance of diversity and reinforced previously existing conservative sentiments.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21226/ewjus420

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© 2014 East/West: Journal of Ukrainian Studies. Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

ISSN 2292-7956