Why (This) War? Psychoanalysis of War – Psychoanalysis in War

Sat, 20.4.24, 5.00 pm Type: Event, Talk Languages: English Location: nGbK am Alex Address: Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 11/13, 10178 Berlin Admission: free

Panel discussion with Yurko Prokhasko, Phil Langer, Beatrice Patsalides Hofmann and Marcus Coelen

Every war is a huge challenge to psychoanalytic theory and therapeutic practice. War—as an inextricable human phenomenon, its causes and constant recurrence, the probability of its elimination, avoidance, or at least prediction—is a constant subject of psychoanalytic inquiry. And the processing of premonitions and experiences of war is a constant field of psychoanalytic practice. Each war puts psychoanalysis on the brink of crisis, again and again, raising urgent questions about its limits, possibilities, capabilities and appropriateness, questions about the suitability of psychoanalytic therapeutic techniques and their theoretical foundations, questions about practical utility and worldview conformity. Will the psychoanalytic technique withstand the test of the merciless reality of war? Is psychoanalysis suitable for dealing with acute war trauma, or “only” for dealing with anxieties and losses among civilians? To what extent can the theory be useful in forecasting and modeling the course of wars—as a means of protection and struggle, or “only” as a means of reflection and interpretation?

In various ways, psychoanalytic practice in war offers fundamental insights: war affects everyone (in different ways) and penetrates into the tiniest, remotest capillaries of mental life; war as a human phenomenon may have some common origin, but it is nonetheless important to understand the specific causes and courses of specific wars; the course taken by each war varies strongly, unfolding differently and gradually in experience; war is a mentally complex, fragile, and changing phenomenon; the suffering caused by war is incredibly diverse; war creates an urgent demand for unity and poses a major threat of social disorder, disintegration, and decline. In order to maintain solidarity, it is vital to understand the sufferings, similar in depth but sometimes very different in composition, of all members of the community.

Yurko Prokhasko (born 1970 in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine) is a Germanist, translator, essayist, journalist (Krytyka, Ji, Tygodnik Powszechny, Die Zeit, Kafka, La Repubblica, Falter, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Frankfurter Rundschau, Volltext, Süddeutsche Zeitung), psychoanalyst, and group psychoanalyst. He studied German studies (1987-1992) and psychology (2004-2009) at the University of Lviv and completed training as a group analyst in Altaussee (Austria, 1997-2007). He has translated from German (including J.W. Goethe, H. v. Kleist, R. Musil, J. Roth, F. Kafka, R.M. Rilke, H. v. Hofmannsthal, W. Benjamin, S. Freud), Polish (J. Wittlin , J. Iwaszkiewicz, L. Kołakowski) and Yiddish (D. Vogel). He is a member of the Saxon Academy of Arts (Dresden, since 2007) and the German Academy for Language and Poetry (since 2022). In 2008, he was awarded the Friedrich Gundolf Prize by the German Academy for Language and Poetry for communicating German culture abroad (Darmstadt) and the Austrian State Prize for Literary Translation, Translatio. He is a member of the Ukrainian Center of the International PEN Club. He lives in Lviv, where he teaches at the Ivan Franko University and the Psychoanalytic Institute, which he co-founded (2010), as well as working as a psychoanalyst.

Phil Langer is Professor for Psychoanalytic Social Psychology and Social Psychiatry at the International Psychoanalytic University Berlin. He was also a Visiting Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at the College of New Jersey in 2011-2016. As part of the social sciences, social psychology and social psychiatry derive their particular strength from looking at the social locations and interconnectedness of the subjects, their experiences and actions, their diverse social disciplines and experiences of suffering, but also their social agency and the chances of their emancipation. Understood in this way, it is about the development of a systematic inter- and transdisciplinary perspective on the always conflictual relationship between subject and society as a subject-related contribution to the critical-reflective support of social and political change.


19.4.24, 5.00–8.00 pm

Kyiv Perennial: Guided tour and talk

Type: Guided Tour, Talk Location: station urbaner kulturen/nGbK Hellersdorf

20.4.24, 2.00 pm

Kyiv Perennial: Vasyl Cherepanyn in conversation with Yurko Prokhasko

Type: Talk Location: Between Bridges

4.5.24, 4.00–6.30 pm

Kyiv Perennial: Connected Tour

Type: Guided Tour Location: Between Bridges, station urbaner kulturen/nGbK Hellersdorf


13.4.24, 5.00 pm

Queer Fighters of Ukraine

Type: Film screening, Talk Location: Between Bridges

6.4.24, 5.00 pm

In Defense of Anonymous Authors – On the Role of the Witness in the Blurred Reality of a Warzone

Type: Film screening, Talk Location: Between Bridges

30.3.24, 4.00–6.00 pm

Kyiv Perennial: Parcours with Raguel Roumer

Type: Workshop Location: nGbK am Alex

28.3.24, 3.00–6.00 pm

Kyiv Perennial: Connected Tour

Type: Guided Tour Location: station urbaner kulturen/nGbK Hellersdorf, nGbK am Alex

24.3.24, 3.30–5.30 pm

Kyiv Perennial: Drawing workshop

Type: Workshop Location: nGbK am Alex

24.3.24, 2.00–3.00 pm

Kyiv Perennial: Inclusive guided tour

Type: Guided Tour Location: nGbK am Alex

23.3.24, 5.00 pm

Displacement and Refuge in Times of War

Type: Event, Panel discussion Location: nGbK am Alex

22.3.24, 4.00–5.30 pm

Kyiv Perennial: Talking About: Socialist Modernism

Type: Talk, Guided Tour Location: nGbK am Alex

17.3.24, 3.00–4.30 pm

Kyiv Perennial: Inclusive guided tour with tactile images

Type: Guided Tour Location: nGbK am Alex

16.3.24, 5.00 pm

Decolonizing Eastern Europe

Type: Event, Panel discussion Location: Between Bridges

9.3.24, 5.00 pm

A City Within a Building: The Russian Airstrike on the Mariupol Drama Theater

Type: Event, Presentation Location: nGbK am Alex

2.3.24, 4.00–6.30 pm

Kyiv Perennial: Connected Tour

Type: Guided Tour Location: nGbK am Alex, Between Bridges

29.2.24, 7.00 pm

The Reckoning Project: Ukraine Testifies

Type: Event, Film screening Location: nGbK am Alex

16.2.24, 6.00 pm

Wonder Woman and the Orcs: Ukrainian History and Western Fables

Keynote by Timothy Snyder

Type: Event, Lecture Location: Stadtwerkstatt


Kyiv Perennial

Fri, 23.2. – Sun, 9.6.24 Type: Exhibition, Event series Location: nGbK am Alex (until 1.4.24), station urbaner kulturen/nGbK Hellersdorf, Between Bridges, Prater Galerie

Education and outreach