Fragile as Glass

Work still in Progress...

At the beginning of March, Lviv is considered one of the safest cities in Ukraine. Residents are sitting in cafes, musicians play in the streets and the weekly market is open as usual. At first glance, the streets seem like a normal Eastern European city. Out of nowhere, the sirens of the air alarm tear the atmosphere apart. These are the moments that break the apparent normality. Although the front is hundreds of kilometers to the east, the state of emergency is slowly creeping into the reality of peoples’ lives. The funeral of killed soldiers in an Orthodox church or volunteers sewing camouflage nets in the city‘s children‘s library are just two examples. Lviv has become a destination for internally displaced persons and a hub for people trying to leave Ukraine via Poland. Many Ukrainians, in conversations, positively refer to a collective belonging to the still young state. But who is actually allowed to be part of Ukrainian society? How do marginalized people and those who are affected by discrimination experience the situation? In Ukraine, the LGBTIQ* community has been as visible as never before in recent years - a success story that could come to an end, in the face of the Russian army‘s invasion since February 2022. Several young, queer people say, they are less discriminated due to their sexuality in everyday life right now. It is better to be able to fight for one‘s rights and freedoms in a sovereign Ukraine, than to wake up in Putin‘s Russia, they say.

„I feel unstable. Everything that is happe- ning in the world now shows that the world is fragile as glass. And these days, while war is happening in my country, I feel fear of everything.“ - Yehor

„Sometimes I think people are more tolerant of you right now. But when all this is over, everything will be like before. These walls that separate people, this intolerance and homophobia will come out again.“ - Andrew

Evgenia Lopata: In war, culture dies first

for NZZ am Sonntag and written by Andrea Jeska

The director of the Chernivtsi Literary Center is fighting on two fronts against the war in her country: for the survival of the establishment and against the oblivion of the many Ukrainian poets and writers the city has brought forth.