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Resilience and community formation in the times of war: the case of Ukrainian refugees in the UK

12/2022 – 07/2023

This project aims to explore a link between resilience building and community formation. Following the innovative model of resilience, developed by the team, research deliberately zooms in at the local level, individuals, and their life stories in order to study real lived communities.

The previous Ukraine project Link opens in a new windowtook a snapshot of lifeways at a particular period in time, just as participants fled the war and were only starting to build their lives outside of Ukraine. Most participants were still unable to form new communities in new places. As the war rages on, continuing to disrupt people’s lives, the current project explores how Ukrainians who found refuge in England go about building new communities and how their relations with their communities back in Ukraine change and evolve during the war.

In the study, communities are understood as:

1) pluriversal, i.e. consisting of many worlds;

2) embedded in physical spaces, which should also be studied as part of community life;

3) including human and non-human species and

4) constantly developing and evolving, not being fixed.

The focus of the study is on the processes of formation of communities and real lived experiences.

We will investigate the various community practices, ranging from support infrastructures to emotional intelligence and inter-species relations, to understand the process of community formation, and which conditions help facilitate community resilience. For this, in-depth semi-structured interviews and/or citizen juries will be conducted with representatives of the Ukrainian refugee communities in Kent and Warwickshire. In addition to interviews, the PI will observe community events in Canterbury and Leamington Spa, which bring together local and refugee populations.

It is expected that the project will bring benefits not only to Ukrainian refugee communities, but also for host communities, allowing them to learn from each other and become more adaptive to change.

Funder: Research England Participatory Research Fund

Project team: Dr Anastasiia Kudlenko (PI) and Professor Elena Korosteleva (COI), IGSD, University of Warwick and Professor Milja Kurki (COI), Aberystwyth University

View previous Ukraine project

View main resilience and war project page