(c) privat

Ukrainians meet one another. Encounters of the Ukrainian minority, of Ukrainian economic migrants and of Ukrainian refugees of war in Poland. Inclusion, exclusion and diaspora-forming processes

Vortrag von Dr. Grzegorz Demel (Warszawa) am 12.12.2023, 17 Uhr (s.t.), Seminarraum 232/Fakultätensitzungszimmer, Hauptgebäude FSU Jena, Fürstengraben 1, 07743 Jena

Ukrainian community(ies) in Poland is (are) constituted by members of Ukrainian national minority (autochthonous, Polish citizens), immigrants arriving in Poland since 1990s, and war refugees fleeing war in Ukraine after 24 February 2022. Their encounter on Polish soil entangles complex processes which affect and are affected by Ukrainian-Ukrainian mutual imaginations and expectations, as well as by general society attitudes and state policies. These encounters take place between groups subjected to different types and scopes of exclusion and inclusion, which can be mitigated or aggravated by various specific positionalities visible in intersectional perspective.

Recurrently appearing in public debate question “Are Ukrainians in Poland welcomed or unwelcomed newcomers?” should be put differently:“(Un)welcomed by whom and in which role/position?”.

After Revolution of Dignity 2014 the concept of Ukrainian diasporic civil society in Poland has emerged in literature, but currently we should go beyond such a perspective and consider Ukrainians as a less or more specific subject of (general) civic society in Poland, as we can observe not only Ukrainian mass humanitarian surge and transnational mobilization for assistance to Ukraine, not only ethnic-focused activities in Poland, but also the clear attempts of Ukrainian organizations to act as significant actor in Polish public sphere.

Poland has not adopted any long-term strategy of immigration and integration, thus debates of crucial importance in both symbolic and pragmatic dimension are still ahead. Ukrainian stance(s) in such debates, if are formulated, will constitute outwardly directed ‘politicized diasporic discourses’ in pure form.


Grzegorz Demel, PhD.: anthropologist, sociologist, specialist in Ukrainian studies, assistant professor in the Institute of Political Studies, Polish Academy of Science. Conducted field research in Poland, Ukraine and Canada and participatory community-based research in Poland and Ukraine. Research interests: politics of memory and identity, ethnicity, nations and nationalism, engaged sociology. Since 2021 he has researched diaspora-forming processes within Ukrainian communities in Poland as an investigator in the research project Diaspora-making processes on the example of Ukrainian communities in Poland. An anthropological study.