Biographical Summary

Olga Gontarska studied at the Institute of History at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. She graduated in 2006. Her master thesis focused on the relations between Avant-garde artists (A. Rodczenko, W. Meyerhold and Y. Zamyatina) and the Soviet government. In 2007, she also received a post-graduate diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Warsaw. After completing her doctoral studies at the Tadeusz Manteuffel Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences, in 2021 she defended her doctoral thesis on visions of the past in the Ukrainian feature films since 1991 (summa cum laude). From 2007 to 2019 she worked as a manager in media, facilitator in NGO (projects dedicated to social problems and historical topics) and as a journalist. Since 2015, she has participated in several historical research projects and worked for the Hannah-Arendt-Institut für Totalitarismusforschung e.V., the Columbia University, the University of Melbourne, the Museum of Polish History and the "Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre" Centre. In 2016, 2017 and 2018 she was a visiting researcher at the Institute of History of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. From 2020 to 2021 she was responsible for the cooperation with the Higher Education Institutions in Central and Eastern Europe, Visegrad Fund and Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange at the University of Warsaw. Since June 2021 she is a researcher at the German Historical Institute Warsaw.

Current GHI Research Project

Current research project: “Euroskepsis. Europas Gegenbewegungen. Euroskeptische Verflechtungen von den Anfängen der Europäischen Integration bis heute” is part of area of Research Area 5: Functionality of History in Late Modernity).

Further Research Interests:

  • History of Central and Eastern Europe after 1989/1991 (post-communist transitions)
  • Contemporary History of Ukraine
  • Ukrainian Film - production studies
  • Euroscepticism


Articles in magazines and journals  (selected)

Challenges of archiving contemporary Ukrainian cultural heritage (film production as a case study), "Australian and New Zealand Journal of European Studies" Special Issue ("Independence. Archive. Prognosis. Ukraine in 1991-2021 and Beyond") Vol. 14 No. 4 (2022), pp. 4-13.

Єдиний наратив про минуле європи – виклик та небезпеки [A Shared Narrative of Europe's Past - Challenges and Threats], in: Nadiya Temirova (ed.): Трансформації історичної пам’яті: збірник матеріалів ІІІ Міжнародної науково-практичної конференції [Transformations of Historical Memory: Collection of Materials from the III. International Conference], Vinnytsia 2022, pp. 94–97.

Between the Great Patriotic War and the Second World War: the image of the war in Ukrainian feature films after 1991, "Institute of National Remembrance Review" 3 (2021-2022), pp. 273–285, DOI: 10.48261/INRR210309

Between the Politics of History and Practice: Ukrainian Struggles with the Past. The Example of the Permanent Exhibition of the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War, "Institute of National Remembrance Review" (1) 2019, pp. 265-281, DOI: 10.48261/INRR190108

Searching for inclusive history: Crimean Tatars in Ukrainian films, "Studia z Dziejów Rosji i Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej", vol. 53 special issue (2018). pp. 199-215, DOI 10.12775/SDR.2018.3.08

Історичне кіно в дослідженнях пам'яті в Україні часів трансформації [Historical films & memory studies in Ukraine; the post-Soviet period], in: Nadiya Temirova (ed.), "Історичні і політологічні дослідження. Спеціальний випуск: доповіді на міжнародній науково-практичній конференції «Трансформації історичної памяті»", Vinnytsia 2018, pp. 97-102.

Book chapters 

Films without a viewer: Ukrainian filmmakers and memory of the neoliberal turn in the post-Soviet space, in: Veronika Pehe, Joanna Wawrzyniak (eds.), Remembering the Neoliberal Turn. Economic Change and Collective Memory in Eastern Europe after 1989. London et al: Routledge 2024 (jointly with Veronika Pehe), pp. 247-263.

Press and Online publications (selected)

Discussing European identity in Transylvania, (DE)CONSTRUCTING EUROPE BLOG. URL:

Eurosceptic Narratives from Below: Workshop at the Scuola Normale Superiore (Florence), (DE)CONSTRUCTING EUROPE BLOG. URL:

Identity and boundaries in Baltic Sea Region, "Baltic Worlds”, Oct. 2016, Vol. IX:3, p. 81.

Eröffnung der Fotoausstellung „Bericht aus der belagerten Stadt Tschernihiw“ in Schwerin
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