Over the past few months, the College has been raising awareness and funds for Ukraine, as well as supporting those fleeing the war. Some of these initiatives are summarised below including Univ Global Conversation on Ukraine, Univ’s involvement in the British Academy Researchers at Risk Fellowship, housing a refugee family and Intermezzo’s concert with the Oxford University Ukrainian Society.
Univ Global Conversation on Ukraine
The Univ Global Conversation on Ukraine, held on Zoom on the evening of 11 May, drew on the College’s long-standing rich expertise in Eastern Europe. It featured Tim Whewell (1979, History and Modern Languages), who works at the BBC, Luke Harding (1987, English) foreign correspondent at The Guardian and James Jones (2001, Modern Languages), director of Chernobyl: the Lost Tapes, amongst many other films, as well as current student Ada Wordsworth (2021, MPhil Russian and Czech), founder of the KHARPP aid organisation, and Professor Polly Jones, Schrecker-Barbour Fellow in Slavonic Studies, as moderator.
The panel began by considering the roots of the current war and then ranged widely across topics including the refugee crisis, Russian policy-making and popular support for the war, the risk of escalation into nuclear conflict or into other territories, the challenges of reporting from Ukraine, the gathering of war crimes evidence and the prospects for peace. The audience of nearly 100 was eager to ask questions, and though not all of them could be fitted in before the event ended, they gave rise to some fascinating discussion of Ukrainian and Russian political and military matters. The panel ended with an expression of solidarity with Ukraine, and also with a prediction of victory in the Eurovision song contest, which came true later in the same week! The College is very grateful to all the participants for giving up their time for this event, and also to those who donated to the Faculty of Modern Languages scheme of online residencies for Ukrainian scholars and writers.
You can listen to the panel discussion below:
Global Conversation Podcast
Univ has also welcomed a Ukrainian family fleeing the war. Olga and Sasha, her 6-year-old son, are staying in one of Univ’s properties on Woodstock Road. Olga is being supported by the Ukrainian community in Oxford and by Angie Carter in particular, and Sasha has just started school in Oxford.
British Academy’s Researchers at Risk Fellowships
The College has also expressed its interest in participating in the British Academy’s Researchers at Risk Fellowships scheme. The Fellowships cover the natural sciences, medical sciences, engineering, humanities, social sciences, and the arts.
Intermezzo concert with the Oxford University Ukrainian Society
Dr Andrew Ker, Tutorial Fellow in Computer Science, conducted Intermezzo in a concert celebrating music from Eastern Europe as part of the Oxford University Ukrainian Society’s humanitarian fundraiser. The concert raised over £950.