Everyday War provides an accessible lens through which to understand what noncombatant civilians go through in a country at war. What goes through the mind of a mother who must send her child to school across a minefield or the men who belong to groups of volunteer body collectors? In Ukraine, such questions have been part of the daily calculus of life. Greta Uehling engages with the lives of ordinary people living in and around the armed conflict over Donbas that began in 2014 and shows how conventional understandings of war are incomplete.
In Ukraine, landscapes filled with death and destruction prompted attentiveness to human vulnerabilities and the cultivation of everyday, interpersonal peace. Uehling explores a constellation of social practices where ethics of care were in operation. People were also drawn into the conflict in an everyday form of war that included provisioning fighters with military equipment they purchased themselves, smuggling insulin, and cutting ties to former friends. Each chapter considers a different site where care can produce interpersonal peace or its antipode, everyday war.
Bridging the fields of political geography, international relations, peace and conflict studies, and anthropology, Everyday War considers where peace can be cultivated at an everyday level.
Introduction: Everyday War
1. "Now We Have Funeral after Funeral": The Conflict over the Conflict in Donbas
2. Welcome to Café Patriot! Militarization and a Themed Café
3. Interpersonal Peace: The Micropolitics of Friendship
4. Home Fronts: Romantic Partnerships and Families during War
5. Boots, Gloves, and Tactical Kinship
Intertext: "I Need a Peaceful Sky"
6. Praying to be Killed at Once: Ways of Coping with Military Violence
7. Everyday Sci-Fi and Practical Orientalism
8. The Volunteer Body Collectors of Ukraine: Outsourcing Undertaking and Smuggling Pediatric Insulin
9. Concluding Thoughts
Intertext: "I Realize That Nothing Will Be the Same Again"
Greta Lynn Uehling is a lecturer at the University of Michigan. She is the author of Beyond Memory. Follow her on Twitter @uehlingumiched1.
The eloquent title Everyday War, stuns us with the "banality of evil" in the spirit of Hannah Arendt and, at the same time, helps us to look into the inner world of people for whom the presence of war, however paradoxically, has become commonplace.
Heartfelt, important, and engaging, author Greta Lynn Uehling's Everyday War is a must-read nonfiction book on the political and sociological effects of war, in particular the Donbas region. The way the author was able to bring to light the multitude of "players" in the field aside from the soldiers themselves, as well as the devastating losses people endured during the war, from property loss and injuries to emotional distress and even loss of loved ones, helps readers to gain a better, more nuanced yet moving idea of what these battles do to those struggling to survive in the midst of war.