A couple of weeks ago our school, through Boris Sopko (director of the Process Work school) and Neus Andreu (from Fil a l’Agulla), gave us the opportunity to attend an online meeting with work students from processes in Ukraine.
The objective was to share two hours to listen, accompany, in short, support the students in these moments of crisis in Ukraine.
About 40 people got together, between the two schools, and with the curiosity and respect that the occasion deserved, I prepared to listen to the story of a town that is suffering an invasion that is difficult to understand.
One of the students explained to us that the conflict with the Russians has its origin in history and she gave us a master class on the origin of the Ukrainian people. (https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukrainian_History)
Migrations, colonizations, invasions, Russification and genocides have forged the character of a people accustomed to fighting, defending their rights and their identity. (https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor)
Among many of the things that she commented, one caught my attention talking about her neighbors: “they don’t know us and they don’t want to know us”. I automatically thought about how easy it is to attack someone you don’t know and dehumanize, and how the feeling of hatred and threat towards a people is built through the manipulation of the media.
While this student was telling the story of her country, in the chat the others were sharing pieces of her personal history and that of her families.
At the end, many wanted to share their emotions, thoughts and stories from the different places where they were. Some still resisting in kyiv, others unfortunately outside their country to protect their families.
One of them shared her frustration at the blindness of her mother who lives in Russia and denies the conflict. Another is her sadness because her father is in the Donbass region, a pro-Russian zone, and this conflict has divided her family.
We can see the fight for freedom and identity reflected in “Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom”, is a documentary film, released in 2015 about the Euromaidan demonstrations in Ukraine.
To finish, one of the students shared an image of the map of the city of kyiv with this phrase that said something like: “they will never be able to conquer our city because the streets form the face of a warrior and that is our essence”.
They thanked us for listening, that’s what we did, meet to listen, to give voice to a people, to understand, if possible, how conflicts arise and how power, and especially the abuse of power, can create destruction and suffering.
дякую, що подлилися своєю іstorєю.
Text: Susana Castro, student at the Spanish Process Work School
Image: Map of the streets of kyiv that form a face, it seems that there are some hills that defend the city.