The role of citizens’ affective media practices in participatory warfare during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
Teyana Lokot
The Journal of International Relations and Development
School of Communications

Dr Tanya Lokot examines the role of personal stories, testimonies, and other communicative acts of Ukrainian social media users. It asks the question: what is their place in the process of knowledge production in contrast to and alongside official state narratives and traditional expert commentary? It also weighs the value and authority they hold in the context of participatory warfare.

Lokot argues that these accounts, which draw on lived experience of the war and socially situated knowledge, can act as forms of resistance. They also redefine the meaning of expertise in wartime by centring citizen voices.

The analysis charts social media activity on Twitter and Instagram from February 2022 to June 2023 from users based in Ukraine, temporarily displaced citizens and members of Ukrainian diasporic communities abroad, posting mainly in Ukrainian and English. Lokot also compares this body of media to material gathered during her previous research project on the Euromaidan protests.

Tanya Lokot is currently PI on the EU funded MEDIATIZED EU project, which examines discourses are constructed to foster or hamper the European project and how they resonate among the public by focusing on the elite-media-public triangle. As a member of DCU FuJo she worked on the JOLT Marie-Skłodowska-Curie European Training Network, which aimed to harness digital and data technologies for journalism by providing a framework for the training and career development of 15 Early Stage Researchers.