Ukrainian Decolonial Glossary

Ukrainian Decolonial Glossary is a compilation of concepts from de- and post-colonial theories, featuring examples specific to the Ukrainian context.

The first edition of this glossary will showcase 20 terms, each contributed by diverse Ukrainian researchers, writers and artists.

Curatorial team of the project: Yullia Elyas, Anastasiia Omelianiuk, Iva Naidenko, Nadiia Koval.

Project Goals and Objectives

Our goal is to develop a comprehensive glossary for representatives of culture and related fields, serving as a tool for:

  • consolidating the community of cultural workers in Ukraine to address contemporary challenges related to coloniality, imperialism, and dealing with the Soviet past;
  • organizing information on the topic and creating a specialized extended dictionary for cultural workers in Ukraine;
  • popularizing the dictionary and expanding the number of adaptations for different contexts;
  • fostering dialogue and recognizing subjectivity in the hierarchy of various knowledge archives in foreign institutions.

Preconditions for the Emergence of the Project and the Need for Creating a Glossary

The idea of Ukraine, on one hand, as a buffer zone for the security of the EU, and on the other hand, as an appendage to the empire, long reflected the absence of Ukraine in the European cultural and intellectual space. After the events on February 24, the discourse on the need to reconsider how knowledge about Ukraine was produced globally through the prism of Moscow epistemologies, often disguised as “East European” studies, gained momentum.

A critical and nuanced analysis of Ukrainian contexts through the lens of colonial theories can be found in the works of Vira Ageieva, Tamara Gundorova, Vitaliy Chernetskyy, Oksana Zabuzhko, Mark Pavlyshyn, Mykola Ryabchuk (and many others). We plan to make this rich body of work accessible to a wider audience. Following the full-scale invasion, the themes of coloniality and decolonization began to gain popularity beyond academic circles like never before. Alongside this, questions arose about the importance of critically using these methodologies, rather than borrowing or copying, as rightly noted by the thinkers mentioned earlier. We aim to contribute to the dissemination and critical use of tools related to post- and decolonial concepts in Ukrainian contexts. This will not only deepen the understanding of Ukraine’s past but also actively engage in the global intellectual struggle against colonial epistemologies.

The first presentation of the project together with the official launch of the website took place on April 17 in the city of Utrecht (Netherlands) at BAK (basis voor actuele kunst).

The recording of the event is available on our website or via this link: (the language of the event is English).

Next presentations of the project are planned in Germany, Austria and Ukraine.


We invite you to subscribe to our social networks on Instagram: @decolonial.glossary_ua and Facebook: Decolonial Glossary UA, as well as to visit the project website: to familiarize yourself with all the articles of the Ukrainian Decolonial Glossary.


Ukrainian Decolonial Glossary is supported by the European Union under the House of Europe programme.