Narratives of War


Since February 24th 2022, Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine has displaced millions of Ukrainians and exposed many more to extreme violence, abuse, deprivation, and loss. Many survivors of war never voice their experiences; many others are only able to do so in a selective manner long after the immediacy of trauma has past. These tendencies contribute to a general lack of first-hand accounts from civilians during wartime, which can in turn contribute to wider public misinformation and lack of awareness about affairs on the ground. Documenting the experiences of Ukrainians during this time is critical, both for preserving a truthful historic record of the invasion and for facilitating the eventual healing of the Ukrainian nation and people.

The Narratives of War (NoW) Virtual Exhibit, created by researchers at McMaster University, Canada, in collaboration with researchers at Lesya Ukrainka Volyn National University, Ukraine, ensures that these Ukrainian voices are heard. Through collecting and sharing these testimonies, our hope is to contribute to the national and world-wide cultural memory of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. With thousands of witnesses of all ages and from all regions of Ukraine, the NoW project serves as both a timeline and a map of ongoing warfare while telling the war’s unfolding stories of suffering, resilience, and hope.