Natalyia Bezborodova

Lecturer / Ph.D. Candidate

Degrees:PhD Candidate in Anthropology (University of Alberta), MA in Modern Languages and Cultural Studies (University of Alberta)
Office:Ukrainian Catholic University, Lviv, Ukraine

Nataliya Bezborodova is a Ph.D. Candidate at the Department of Anthropology, University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and a lecturer at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, Ukraine. She has been set to work on her dissertation for the University of Alberta on a remote basis and relocated back to Ukraine in Fall 2021 and, fleeing the war actions, currently resides in Poland. She is interested in an interdisciplinary approach including anthropology, ethnography, cultural, and religious studies. Her doctoral project focuses on the meaning of space and place in migrations, multilayered identity, and the role of religion in the social and political turmoil in the example of “Flying Community,” a group that connects members from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, and Italy. In 2016, Nataliya got her MA degree focusing on the social media representations of the Maidan protests in Ukraine. Natalia’s research on religious identity will complete the workshop agenda on pluralist sites during the war. By detecting and understanding the opportunities and challenges for pluralism as displaced populations mix with the host society, the concrete research of the  “Flying Community” will identify the new agencies of tolerance and pluralism in a situation of

Panel 3: Internal Displacement: Citizenship and Culture

Christianity is a Fire or There is Nothing of It: Community Exhibits on Contested Narratives of Russian Aggression against Ukraine


“Flying Community,” a group that unites Orthodox and Catholic Christians from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, and Italy of different ages and ethnic origin, with its epicenter in Ukraine, was formed in the circumstances of the beginning of the Russian aggression against Ukraine in 2012-2015. The group breaks several patterns typical of structure, denominational variety, and stable geographical affiliation of religious organization in both Catholicism and Orthodoxy.
In August 2019 “Flying Community” presented an exhibit for the Rimini Meeting festival in Italy about Mother Maria Skobtsova. She was a poet, a journalist, and a political activist in her early years, a post-WWI refugee in France, and a nun who ended her life in the Ravensbrück concentration camp in 1945. She has been canonized as a martyr by the Ecumenical Patriarchy of the Orthodox Church, and the fact of her canonization raised a severe critique from the Moscow Patriarchy of the Russian Orthodox Church.