The war of symbols

By Dmytro Zaleskyi

The author, a Ukrainian Jungian analyst, presents us some of the psychic consequences of the war between Russia and Ukraine, at the individual level, but also in the analytical relationship as well as within the populations. He focuses on the experiences of time distortion, variability and polarisation of attachments and finally on the effects of confusion of the ‘grey zone’ of traumatic states. The author also examines the complex and turbulent historical relationship between Ukraine and Russia, going back to their imperial period when they were a single state. He points to the collective disasters with millions of victims that occurred in the 20th century, with a secondary policy of amnesia, which prevented the elaboration of collective traumas. In the more recent period, the emancipation and differentiation movement of the Ukrainian people appears to him in a search for authentic symbolisation. This is an opportunity to question the uses and misuses of symbols at the collective level and the dynamics of the constitution of feelings of national identity.

Go to the article on