My name is Darya, and I write, research, and draw. My work lies at the intersection of environmental humanities and artistic research. Currently I am working on a book manuscript about the environmental impacts of Russia’s war on Ukraine, forthcoming with Polity press. Fieldwork for this manuscript was funded by Documenting Ukraine grant, IWM (Institute for Human Sciences), Vienna.

Between March and July 2024, I am based at New Europe College, Bucharest. Previously, I was a Visiting Fellow at the School of Advanced Study, University or London; St Antony’ College, University of Oxford; and IWM, Vienna.

For my work in the field of Slavic Studies, I have been awarded Mary Zirin Prize (2023): “The committee was particularly impressed by the elegance of her prose, and by her careful, thoughtful autoethnography, rigorously grounded in the scholarly literature yet at the same time a poignant narrative of a scholar’s introspection and vulnerability in times of war.“



In addition to writing, I also work with images through drawing, painting, collage, and video essays. My visual works have been part of exhibitions at Württembergischer Kunstverein, Kyiv Biennial Vienna, Filma Feminist Film Festival, among other places.



I obtained my PhD in 2021 from the University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK. My PhD dissertation focused on stories and memories about people, plants, and geology, as well as displacement and Russian occupation and invasion in the east of Ukraine. The form of my dissertation, consisting of academic writing, drawings, and a screenplay,presents a decolonial approach to knowledge-making. For my PhD project I received full funding from the School of Modern Languages and the Douglas and Gordon Bonnyman scholarship. In 2022 I was awarded the Principal’s medal. It is the highest award made to students who have displayed exceptional endeavour, academic achievement, and community service during their time at St Andrews.


In 2015 together with Yulia Filipieva and Viktor Zasypkin, I founded participatory art project Donbas Odyssey. The project worked with oral histories and mental maps told and created by people displaced from Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, Ukraine. It was on display in Kyiv, Odesa, Lviv, Izmir, and St Andrews. For my work at the intersection of research and art I received University of St Andrews 2019 Public Engagement Newcomer Award and a Highly Commended for the Public Engagement Innovation Award.

For my MA degree I studied at Università degli Studi di Bergamo (Italy), University of St Andrews (Scotland, UK) and L’Université de Perpignan via Domitia (France), Erasmus Mundus Crossways in Cultural Narratives programme. My MA studies were funded by a scholarship from the European Commission, and I graduated from the programme with distinction. I obtained my BA in 2013 from Kenyon College, OH, USA. I graduated magna cum laude with a double major in Studio Art and Modern Languages (German, Italian). My BA studies were fully funded by Kenyon College and Davis United World College Scholars programme. The last two years of high school (2007-2009) I was a recepient of a full scholarship at United World College of the Adriatic (UWCAD), Duino, Italy. I was selected by the National Committee of Ukraine to represent my country among more than 80 other countries at UWCAD.



You can reach me at or darya.tsymbalyuk@gmail.com.