Olha Voznyuk
ifk Research Fellow

Duration of fellowship
01. October 2023 bis 31. January 2024

The Transformation of Ukrainian Cultural Identity in the Post-Soviet Period


The process of the transformation of cultural values in Ukraine is strongly related to historical events, including the declaration of independence in 1991 and the Revolution of Dignity in 2014. Modern Ukrainian literature has sparked a rethinking and new analyses of cultural values by bringing to light topics forgotten and forbidden during Ukraine’s Soviet history. With the beginning of Russian aggression against Ukraine in 2014, the development of Ukrainian cultural and cinematic narratives, in particular, has increased significantly. Specifically, the film industry has begun to play the role of popularizer of Ukrainian history, i.e., to fulfill the task of restoring historical memory to a society.

This project investigates the role of historical events and their influence on the cultural transformation of post-Soviet Ukraine, revealing the impact of the intellectual elite in establishing and shaping modern Ukrainian identity. It also explores how visual and literary images affect the development and cultural transformation of society’s identity. It positions the transformation of post-Soviet cultural values in Ukrainian society against European cultural heritage, employing postcolonial research methods and examining the role of intermedial narratives to the image of Self and Other.


Olha Voznyuk is currently an independent literary and cultural scholar, lecturer, and translator. Her research interests are focused on problems of stereotypes, identity, memory, postcolonial studies, East European literatures, and cinema. Her first PhD, in comparative literature (National Academy of Science, Ukraine, 2010), investigated the impact and cultural legacy of Jerzy Giedroyc’s Paris-based journal Kultura on Ukrainian-Polish relations after World War II. She received her second PhD in Slavic Studies from the University of Vienna in 2022 with a dissertation that analyzed the influence of German, Polish, and Ukrainian cultural legacies on the development of »Galician« local identity. During her academic career she has worked at several universities and was a visiting fellow at Harvard University, the University of Warsaw, the University of Copenhagen, and the University of Silesia. Her research has been funded by numerous fellowships, including from UNESCO, the Visegrad Fund, the Institute for World Literature, the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, and the OeAD. Her most recent research project explores the way of transition of Ukrainian national identity in post-Soviet time in intermedia cultural context.


»Habsburg Nostalgia in Ukrainian Post-Soviet Cinema« (in press); film review of Vladyslav Chabaniuk, Black Cossack (Chornyi Kozak, 2018), in: KinoKultura 77 (2022) (http://www.kinokultura.com/2022/77UA_black-cossack.shtml); » Focus on Ukraine; Kotljarevs'kyj, Ivan Petrovyč«, in: Encyclopedia of Romantic Nationalism in Europe, vol. 2, Amsterdam University Press, 2022, p. 1549.

23 October 2023
  • Lecture
ifk & ifk@Zoom
Olha Voznyuk

The Evolution of Ukrainian Cultural Identity in the Post-Maidan Period

The Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine in 2014 has changed the direction of contemporary Ukrainian literature and culture. Modern Ukrainian literature has registered recent historical events in numerous works, which seek to recover Ukrainian historical narratives »lost« during the Soviet era and which in turn have influenced the Ukrainian film industry.