What does war do to the human psyche? It can traumatise. It can cause grief. It can normalise violence and make demons out of the enemy. But difficult times can also elevate our care and compassion. And while much of the new solidarity is focused on those on “our side”, the helping hand does not always stop at the border.
Or so argues anthropologist Greta Uehling, the author of Everyday War (2023). Building on over 150 interviews with Ukrainian civilians and ex-combatants, Uehling’s work brings depth and nuance to the topic - a topic often simplified by naive contrasts between peaceful care and brutal violence. Profoundly optimistic in ways, Uehling is still far from romanticising war. Rather, she paints a humane picture of people finding meaning from the challenges of violent conflict.
Dr Uehling sat down with Ilari to discuss various stories and lessons from Ukraine. As always, the episode finishes with Dr Uehling's own views on humanity.
Yuval Noah Harari / Paul Ricoeur / Hans-Georg Gadamer
Names of the Ukrainian respondents have been altered to protect their identity
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