Bureaucratic performance, documentation
The conspiracy theory stating that the Ukrainian language was artificially created by the Austrian military headquarters during the WWI has been circulating in the informational space for many years now. This conspiracy theory has been spread mostly by Russian far-right and far-left circles and initially aimed to attack Ukrainian independence, but it was so ridiculous that it quickly became an object of ironic laughter among the Ukrainians. During my residency in Vienna, I decided to take the advantage of the Austrian law regarding access to public information (which obliges state institutions to share at request any kind of publicly available information that they might possess) and to check how they would react when faced with Russian propaganda. I sent out identical requests to relevant governmental, archival, and scholarly entities asking to ‘provide all the information they have that could prove or disprove this theory’. All the answers I’ve received (and all those I didn’t) are exhibited giving viewers an opportunity to decide for themselves whether their reactions can be considered an effective tool against nationalistic propaganda and conspiracy theories.