When Memes Go to War Against Russia: A Conversation with Christian Borys of Saint JavelinExport this event to calendar

Tuesday, November 8, 2022 — 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM EST

Logo for University for UkraineUniversity for Ukraine (U4U) presents a conversation with journalist Christian Borys, hosted by professors Alexander Lanoszka (Political Science) and Serhiy Yarusevych (Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering) as part of the U4U campaign to raise funds for victims of Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Russia’s decision to launch a major invasion of Ukraine has arguably been the defining event of 2022. The expectations of many analysts prior to its launch were that Ukraine would not be able to withstand the onslaught. Russia would be able to vanquish Ukraine with its impressive military power, while using effective disinformation campaigns to divide and to confuse audiences around the globe. Nevertheless, although Ukraine has paid an extraordinarily high price in terms of physical damage and civilian losses, its military resistance has been fierce. After successfully repelling an attack on the capital city of Kyiv, Ukrainian Armed Forces have been steadily liberating territory seized by Russia since February. Russian disinformation campaigns have been marginal, at least in the Euro-Atlantic region. Memes supporting Ukrainian defenders and mocking Russian military performance and Kremlin narratives have flourished on social media.

About Christian Borys

Christian BorysBased in Toronto, Christian Borys is a journalist and entrepreneur of Ukrainian and Polish provenance. He was once based in Kyiv where he did reporting for the BBC, the CBC, VICE News, and other outlets. He also founded Saint Javelin on the 16th of February of this year, just eight days before Russia launched its massive invasion against Ukraine. The main goal of Saint Javelin has been to support Ukrainians affected by Russia’s war-making through the sale of merchandise. Saint Javelin has helped popularize the Ukrainian cause with the use of conflict memes. To date, Saint Javelin has contributed over a million dollars from its sales to support Ukrainian victims of war. His work with Saint Javelin has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the BBC, the CBC, and other outlets around the world.


This event is organised in collaboration with University for Ukraine initiative (#U4U), as well as support from the Faculty of Arts, and will feature Dr. Alexander Lanoszka of the Department of Political Science at Waterloo in conversation with Christian Borys. They will discuss Saint Javelin’s story as well as humor in wartime and the role that memes can play in disinformation and psychological warfare.

Attend in-person or via livestream link below.

Learn more about supporting Saint Javelin and University for Ukraine.

Location 
HH - J.G. Hagey Hall of the Humanities
HH 1104 – main floor of SAF
200 University Avenue West

Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1
Canada

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