Translating Protest: Networked Diasporas and Transnational Mobilisation in Ukraine’s Euromaidan Protests


This study combines ethnographic and computational approaches to critically examine what gets 'lost in translation' when studying intersecting social contexts of diasporic mobilisation around homeland politics. Considering how Ukrainians living in the U.S. engaged with homeland politics during the Euromaidan protests, we map transnational diasporic mobilisation, shining light on the various material, discursive, and affective connections that emerged in the process. We find that Euromaidan protests were a point of passage – and thus, convergence – between the often incongruous notions of national identity across regional as well as national territorial borders. Translating the local meanings and cultural codes associated with the Euromaidan protests, diasporas sought to amplify them to reach global audiences through their use of the grammars and vocabularies of socially mediated protest. Situating our inquiry in networked diasporic discourses and building on a decolonial understanding of Ukraine's history and politics, our approach illuminates the possibilities for studying transnational mobilisation and activism as a heterogeneous network of publics, discourses, and identity practices.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i20356609v15i1p203

Keywords: Mobilisation; diaspora; social media; protest; Ukraine; postcolonialism


Adamson, F. (2012). “Constructing the diaspora: Diaspora identity politics and transnational social movements”, in T. Lyons and P. Mandaville, Politics from afar: Transnational diasporas and networks, London: Hurst, pp. 25-42.

Andén-Papadopoulos, K., and M. Pantti, (2013). “The media work of Syrian diaspora activists: Brokering between the protest and mainstream media”, International Journal of Communication 7: 2185–2206

Anderson, B. (1983), Imagined communities: Reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism, London, New York: Verso.

Aparicio, A. (2010). “Transglocal Barrio Politics”, in Pérez, G. M., Guridy, F., and Burgos, A. (Eds.), Beyond El Barrio: Everyday Life in Latina/o America, New York: NYU Press, pp. 253-272.

Bennett, W. L., and A. Segerberg, A. (2012), “The logic of connective action: Digital media and the personalization of contentious politics”, Information, communication & society 15(5): 739-768.

Berkowitz, L., and L.M. Mügge, (2014), “Transnational Diaspora Lobbying: Europeanization and the Kurdish Question”, Journal of Intercultural Studies, 35(1): 74–90.

Boichak, O. (2017), “Battlefront Volunteers: Mapping and Deconstructing Civilian Resilience Networks in Ukraine”, Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Social Media & Society, 3:10.

Boichak, O. (2019), “Mobilizing Diasporas: Understanding Transnational Relief Efforts in the Age of Social Media”, Proceedings of the 52 Annual Hawai’i International Conference on System Sciences, (HICSS-52).

Boichak, O. (2022), “Camouflage aesthetics: militarisation, craftivism, and the in/visibility of resistance at scale”, Contemporary Voices: St Andrews Journal of International Relations, 3(1): 1-13.

Boichak, O. and S. Jackson (2020), “Between National Identity and State Legitimacy: Mobilizing Digitally Networked Publics in Eastern Ukraine”, Media, War & Conflict 13(3): 258-279.

Boichak, O., and P. Kumar (2021), “Mapping the national web: Spaces, cultures and borders of diasporic mobilization in the digital age”, Global Networks,

Brinkerhoff, J. M. (2008), “Diaspora identity and the potential for violence: Toward an identity-mobilization framework”, Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research 8(1): 67-88.

Candidatu, L., K. Leurs, and S. Ponzanesi (2019), “Digital Diasporas: Beyond the Buzzword: Toward a Relational Understanding of Mobility and Connectivity”, in J. Retis and R. Tsagarousianou, The Handbook of Diasporas, Media, and Culture, Hoboken: Wiley, pp. 31-47.

Conner, W. (1978), “A Nation is a Nation, is a State, is an Ethnic Group, is a…”,Ethnic and Racial Studies. 1(49): 377-400.

Davis, J. L., and N. Jurgenson (2014), “Context collapse: Theorizing context collusions and collisions”, Information, Communication & Society, 17(4), 476–485.

Edwards, B.H. (2001), “The uses of diaspora”, Social Text,19(1): 45-73.

Hall, S. (1980), “Race, articulation and societies structured in dominance”. In Unesco (ed), Sociological Theories: Race and Colonialism, Paris: Unesco, pp. 305–45.

Hall, S. (1990), “Cultural identity and diaspora”, in J. Rutherford” (ed.), Identity: community, culture, difference, London: Lawrence & Wishart, pp.222-237.

Jost, J.T et al. (2018), “How Social Media Facilitates Political Protest: Information, Motivation, and Social Networks”, Political Psychology 39(85-118): 85-118.

Koinova, M. (2009), “Conditions and timing of moderate and radical diaspora mobilization: evidence from conflict-generated diasporas”, Working Paper. George Mason University: George Mason University, Center for Global Studies. Global Migration and Transnational Politics Series (No.9).

Kok, S., and R. Rogers (2017), “Rethinking migration in the digital age: Transglocalization and the Somali diaspora” Global Networks 17(1): 23–46

Krasynska, S. (2014), “Digital civil society: Euromaidan, the Ukrainian diaspora, and social media”, in D.R. Marples and F.V. Mills (eds.), Ukraine's Euromaidan: Analyses of a civil revolution, New York: Columbia University Press, pp.177-198.

Kupets, O. (2012), The Development and the Side Effects of Remittances in the CIS Countries: The case of Ukraine. Retrieved from

Lapshyna, I. (2019), “Do Diasporas Matter? The Growing Role of the Ukrainian Diaspora in the UK and Poland in the Development of the Homeland in Times of War”, Central and Eastern European Migration Review 8(1): 51-73.

Leurs, K. (2016), “Young connected migrants and non-normative European family life: Exploring affective human right claims of young e-diasporas”, International Journal of E-Politics (IJEP) 7(3): 15-34.

Leurs, K., and Ponzanesi, S. (2018), “Connected migrants: Encapsulation and cosmopolitanization”, Popular Communication 16(1): 4-20.

Lokot, T. (2021a). Beyond the Protest Square: Digital Media and Augmented Dissent. Lantham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Lokot, T. (2021b), “Ukraine is Europe? Complicating the concept of the ‘European’ in the wake of an urban protest”, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies 18(4): 439-446.

Melucci, A. (1996), Challenging Codes: Collective Action in the Information Age (Later Printing Used edition), Cambridge-New York: Cambridge University Press.

Mignolo, W. D. (2017), “Interview—Walter D. Mignolo. Retrieved January 16, 2021”, from E-International Relations:

Mignolo, W., and C.E. Walsh, C. E. (2018), On Decoloniality, Durham: Duke University Press.

Moss, D. M. (2016), “Transnational repression, diaspora mobilization, and the case of the Arab Spring”, Social Problems 63(4): 480-498.

Nikolko, M. (2019). Diaspora mobilization and the Ukraine crisis: old traumas and new strategies. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 42(11), 1870-1889.

Onuch, O. (2015), “EuroMaidan protests in Ukraine: Social media versus social networks”, Problems of post-communism 62(4), 217-235.

Onuch, O., E. Mateo, and J.G. Waller (2021), “Mobilization, Mass Perceptions, and (Dis) information: “New” and “Old” Media

Consumption Patterns and Protest”, Social Media+Society 7(2), DOI: 2056305121999656.

Papacharissi, Z. (2015), Affective publics: Sentiment, technology, and politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Paul, R. A. (2000), “Grassroots mobilization and diaspora politics: Armenian interest groups and the role of collective memory”, Nationalism and ethnic politics 6(1): 24-47.

Rainie, H. and B. Wellman (2012). Networked: The new social operating system. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Reid, A. (2015), Borderland: A Journey Through the History of Ukraine (Reprint edition). New York: Basic Books.

Rieder, B. (2013), “Studying Facebook via data extraction: The Netvizz application”, WebSci ‘13: Proceedings of the 5th Annual ACM Web Science Conference, pp. 346-355.

Star, S. L., and J.R. Griesemer (1989), “Institutional Ecology, `Translations’ and Boundary Objects: Amateurs and Professionals in Berkeley’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, 1907-39”, Social Studies of Science 19(3): 387–420

Tatar, K. (2020), “Helping the Homeland in Troubled Times: Advocacy by Canada’s Ukrainian Diaspora in the Context of Regime Change and War in Ukraine”, Central and Eastern European Migration Review, 9(2): 35–51.

The Pulitzer Prizes. (2003). Statement on Walter Duranty’s 1932 Prize. Retrieved from

Tlostanova, M. (2012), “Postsocialist ≠ postcolonial? On post-Soviet imaginary and global coloniality”,,Journal of Postcolonial Writing 48(2): 130-142.

van Eck, N. J., and L. Waltman (2011), “Text mining and visualization using VOSviewer”. ArXiv:1109.2058 [Cs]. Retrieved from

Wellman, B. (2003), “Little Boxes, Glocalization, and Networked Individualism”, in Digital Cities II: Computational and Sociological Approaches: Second Kyoto Workshop on Digital Cities, Springer.

Yermolenko, V. (2014), “Dreams of Europe”, Eurozine, February 4, 2014. Retrieved from

Zychowicz, J. (2020), Superfluous Women, Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribuzione - Non commerciale - Non opere derivate 3.0 Italia License.