This postdoc project suggests studying media use at the frontline in Eastern Ukraine (primarily by soldiers but also by civilians who live in the warzone on the side controlled by the government of Ukraine) from the perspective of actor-network theory by way of in-depth interviews and participant observation. It is based on growing yet unsystematic evidence of the broad and unorthodox use of media infrastructure and personal technology in the Donbas war. The project’s relevance and urgency are stipulated by its potential to shed light on the heretofore unstudied aspect of the Ukrainian conflict, one of Eastern Europe’s gravest currently, and to enable new critical perspectives regarding the dynamically changing use of media during war as empirical studies from battlefields are lacking. The theoretical approach is based on actor-network theory focused on interaction between humans and technology in a specific context (of war, in this case), problematising the politics of media access, media infrastructure and materiality of media. The project is situated in the growing subfields of the critical studies of mediatised conflict, soldiers’ media cultures and media witnessing.
|Final report - Roman Horbyk - Connecting soldiers: Media ecologies and materialities on the East Ukrainian frontline