“BUR’YAN” is a podcast made in collaboration between decolonial researchers and activists from the collectives of Feminist Translocalities and Beda. Each episode can have not only new guests but also new hosts.
The name of the podcast — “BUR’YAN” — in the Ukrainian language means wild grass, weeds. These undesirable plants, which can belong to different genera, are marginal in the agricultural hierarchy. They are mowed, uprooted, and sometimes even burned, but every year they sprout again. They are an integral part of local ecosystems and are essential for the preservation of soils and riverbanks. They are diverse and numerous, and they are also stubborn and recalcitrant. That is why for us wild grass is a metaphor for the diversity and multiplicity of decolonial movements that resist russian colonialism. This will become the subject of our podcast — an attempt to reveal various dimensions of coloniality in the hope that “BUR’YAN” will become a space for the voices of people affected by these politics.
In each episode, together with guest speakers, we try to understand the contexts of specific regions, discuss different aspects of the colonial situation, and collectively search for ways to overcome the constraints that result from historical trauma.

The podcast episodes will be recorded in different languages because first of all, we consider the wishes of our guests and moderators. For example, the first episode with Ukrainian researcher Svitlana Matviyenko is available only in English, as not all the moderators of this episode speak Ukrainian, and for Svitlana English is not related to her personal experience of coloniality. Taking into account the diversity of languages of our interlocutors and the role of russian as an instrument of colonization, we leave the choice of the language of communication to the guests and moderators of each issue. In the future, we will offer our guests to translate and record the introductory episode of the podcast in their native languages. We also plan to publish transcripts of the conversation in russian, English, and/or the language of the podcast participants.

This project is our attempt to find answers to complex questions. If you would like to share your thoughts, feelings, or experiences with us, or even suggest a topic for an episode, you can reach us at: bedamedia@proton.me
0. Meet “BUR’YAN” !
A short introduction to “BUR’YAN” — a podcast about russian colonialism and decolonial resistances by Beda and Feminist Translocalities. In this episode, you can find out who came up with this podcast, why, and what its name means.
1. “May the atom (never) be a worker, but a soldier”: Discussion with Svitlana Matviyenko on russian nuclear colonialism
* Back in the seventies, a popular slogan expressing Soviet nuclear enthusiasm, “May the atom be a worker, not a soldier” (Хай буде атом робітником, а не солдатом), was installed on the roof of #6 Sergeant Lazarev Street, one of the tallest apartment buildings in the city center of Pripyat, Ukraine. (...) Before the Russia-Ukraine war, a visitor to the Zone of Exclusion might occasionally spot a playful subversion of the ideological slogan: Хуй буде атом робітником, а не солдатом, which can be translated as “There is no way the atom is a worker, but a soldier.”

(“Nuclear Cyberwar: From Energy Colonialism to Energy Terrorism”, Svitlana Matviyenko, e-flux journal #126)
Yivha Zban’, a Ukrainian-born decolonial activist and artist, and Lilia Yuldasheva, a decolonial researcher and cultural worker talk to Svitlana Matviyenko, a scholar, whose research and teaching are focused on information and cyberwar; media and environment; infrastructure studies; digital militarism, practices of resistance, and nuclear cultures, including the Chornobyl Zone of Exclusion.

While planning this episode, the authors thought that the topics of nuclear colonialism, in particular, soviet nuclear politics and russian nuclear terrorism would be at the center of the conversation. But eventually, it went further and included other trajectories, catching the diversity of the scales and dimensions of colonialism. So, they also speak about how it affects matter (land, air, water, plants, bodies) and various aspects of human and non-human lives such as temporalities, imaginations, emotions, and futures.
Svitlana Matviyenko with Yivha Zban’ and Lilia Yuldasheva
0:00 — introduction, terms, and concepts of cyberwar
1:55 — interconnectedness, “Savage Ecologies”, life-supporting assemblages/martial assemblages, wars out of nowhere
7:45 — peaceful atom, the distinction between peace and war technologies, “Хуй буде атом робiтником, а не солдатом”
13:23 — instrumentalization of nuclear infrastructure by russia
15:50 — terror; unknown as an instrument of terrorism, (un)logical logic of russian colonialism
24:26 — the labor of witnessing, the Kakhovka dam explosion
33:05 — past/childhood landscapes, future, solidarity and agency
36:45 — external subjectivity, the return of the stolen steppe – ecocide happened much earlier (Vira Aheeva)
49:20 — how to understand colonialism and its actors, (un)importance of languages and heritage/culture, 400 years of resistance in Ichkeria