Posle: imagining the way out…

20 12 2022

Since late May of this year, Posle/После (Russian for “After”) has been publishing wide-ranging leftist perspectives on the continuing Russo-Ukrainian war, in both English and Russian.

The web site calls itself “a platform for political reflection on this criminal war, its preconditions and consequences,” and welcomes “everyone who seeks to understand the present and to imagine the future.” To that end, it has published several dozen articles that, as the editors put it, collectively “examine the structure” of the invasion, its relation to “immense social inequality and powerlessness,” and the “imperialist ideology” that “feeds on the militarist discourse, xenophobia, and bigotry” — and help to “imagine the way out.”

Editorial details are hard to find, presumably because many (or most?) of those involved are currently in Russia. The web journal’s coverage of Russian dissident voices is good to see (though it can feel a little abstract given the lack of real-world presence they seem to have). But it also includes coverage of the global left and its responses to the war (including the American, Swedish, and German lefts), the “ecological scars of war,” Russian regionalism, and nuanced analyses of Russian shame, discourses of the “brotherly peoples,” and much more.

An interview with Ukrainian artist Mykola Ridnyi includes some perceptive comments about the on-the-ground situation in Ukraine. Here’s one:

[A]lthough it is believed that wars inevitably lead to an increase in conservative sentiments, I try to stay optimistic. This war is engaging an unprecedented number of people with very different political views and backgrounds. Organizations such as Solidarity Collectives and the Unicorn Battalion support many left-wing activists and LGBT people who are serving in the army. Right-wing groups played a big role in 2014, because the Ukrainian professional army was weakened and undeveloped, but today the situation is different. 

The journal can be followed on Telegram and Instagram, in addition to its main web site.



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