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Ukraine at War: Life in a Time of Fear of Hope

March 27 @ 7:00 pm - March 29 @ 2:00 pm

Collaged images of a mural of a woman's silhouette with a flower rising through her head; a bombed building; and memorial flags; all duotoned with the yellow and blue colors of the Ukrainian flag. Event description in body

Join us for “Ukraine at War: Life in a Time of Fear and Hope,” a symposium sponsored by the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University.

Events include a screening of the Academy Award-winning documentary film “20 Days in Mariupol,” which documents the brutal siege of the city; a Katz Women, Ethics, and Leadership Event showcasing women artists, activists, and combatants; and two roundtables on the complexities of life in wartime and sustaining resistance in the face of faltering aid.

All events are free and open to the public, but please register for the events you plan to attend.

Your registration enables us to send you reminders and event updates. You do not need to bring your order confirmation or “ticket” with you. Registering for an event does not reserve a seat for you. Seating is first come, first serve.

Register for “Ukraine at War” here

Several other organizations are hosting events with many of our “Ukraine at War” speakers. A complete list of these events is available here.

March 27
7:00 p.m.

“20 Days in Mariupol”
Film Screening

Griffith Film Theater
Bryan Center

“Essential. A relentless and truly important documentary.” – The New York Times

Join us for a screening of “20 Days in Mariupol,” the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in Public Service in 2023 and the winner of Best Documentary Feature Film at the Academy Awards in 2024.

An AP team of Ukrainian journalists trapped in the besieged city of Mariupol struggle to continue their work documenting atrocities of the Russian invasion. As the only international reporters who remain in the city, they capture what later become defining images of the war: dying children, mass graves, the bombing of a maternity hospital, and more. “20 Days in Mariupol” offers a vivid, harrowing account of civilians caught in the siege, as well as a window into what it’s like to report from a conflict zone, and the impact of such journalism around the globe.

Mila Yutskevych, a master’s student in civil engineering at NC State University who worked as a translator in Mariupol, will introduce the film.

This event is free and open to the public. More information about the venue, including parking information, is available on the Duke Arts website.

This screening is presented in partnership with Duke University Union’s Freewater Presentations, Razom for Ukraine, Frontline, and the Associated Press.

March 28
5:30 p.m.

A Katz Women, Ethics, and Leadership Event

Ruby Lounge
Rubenstein Arts Center

Join us for a Katz Women, Ethics, and Leadership event focused on the experiences of Ukrainian women during the country’s ongoing war with Russia. Featuring prominent artists, activists, and combatants, this event explores Ukrainian culture as both a light in dark times and as a means of resistance.

An opening performance of traditional folk songs by the Ukrainians in the Carolinas Spivochi Ensemble will be followed by two keynote presentations.

Award-winning poet and combat medic Yaryna Chornohuz will speak about her experiences fighting on the war’s frontlines; advocating for Ukrainian culture, sovereignty, and women’s rights; and writing poetry that reckons with loss, love of land, and the horrors of war.

Acclaimed singer and ethnomusicologist Nadia Tarnawsky and vocalist Vira Hanchar will perform “Postcards from Another World.” A new multimedia presentation blending images, personal stories, and traditional folk songs from Ukraine, “Postcards” offers glimpses of a faraway place — and reflects how these missives change when they’re coming from a war zone.

This event is free and open to the public. Free parking is available in the Campus Drive lot, directly across the street from the Rubenstein Arts Center. More information about parking, including accessible parking, is available on the Rubenstein Arts Center website.

We are grateful to Dignitas for their support of this event.

Speaker Bios

March 29
11:00 a.m.

Roundtable Discussions

Ahmadieh Family Conference Room
West Duke Building 101

On the final day of the Ukraine at War symposium, join us for two roundtable discussions featuring perspectives on the continuing conflict from diverse professional and academic fields. While focused on Ukraine, we recognize that these themes have global resonances.

These roundtable discussions are free and open to the public.

Please note that parking at the West Duke Building is limited. If parking spaces designated for Kenan Institute for Ethics guests or Duke East Campus permit holders are available, we can provide parking passes upon request. Please park, check in at the front desk, and then place the permit on your car. There are also a few pay-by-the-hour parking spaces in front of the building.

During business hours, off-street parking is available in many neighborhoods around East Campus, but please note that some areas limit parking without a residential permit to two hours. These areas are clearly marked. Duke community members are encouraged to use campus transportation if they can.

If you have questions about parking, accessibility, or anything else related to this event, please contact Kenan Institute for Ethics Program Director Hillary Train at hillary.train@duke.edu.

11:00 a.m.

Sites of Violence, Sites of Resistance: Bodies, Ecologies, Communities & Music

This discussion will focus on the different places where both violence and resistance manifest during times of war, sometimes in complex and multifaceted ways. Psychologist Alla Prokhovnik-Raphique will speak about community resilience in ongoing trauma situations; anthropologist Vika Grivina on the intertwining of environmental devastation and community building; ecologist Nina Fontana on ecocide and agricultural symbols of resistance; ethnomusicologist Nadia Tarnawsky on the role of music and art in cultural resilience; and professional athlete Jenya Kazbekova on the political resonances of international athletic competitions.

Speaker Bios

12:00 p.m.


1:00 p.m.

Witnessing and Responsibility: Allocating Care in an Age of Global Crisis

In a time of rapid-fire digital communication, we are confronted with horrific images of global crises on a daily basis. This can lead to overwhelming feelings of anxiety, grief, and, eventually, numbness. This panel looks at the ways we witness injustices, and the responsibility that entails. Human rights lawyer Ewa Hofmańska will explore documenting war crimes; anthropologist Hanna Dosenko will trace the homeward path of Ukrainian soldiers killed in action, journalist Terrell Starr will contribute insights from an American political perspective; and combat medic Yaryna Chornohuz will discuss the complexities of fighting on the frontlines when social media drives international investment.

Speaker Bios



March 27 @ 7:00 pm
March 29 @ 2:00 pm