At a time of geopolitical instability in the Black Sea region, the question of the solidarity between two ethnically, religiously, and linguistically divergent peoples—Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars—will influence the extent to which Crimea remains a global flashpoint for the foreseeable future. Despite its significance, however, this solidary relationship has been either overlooked as a discrete object of inquiry or dismissed as a mere political “marriage of convenience” in research literature. This article seeks to delve more deeply into the dynamics of Ukrainian–Crimean Tatar relations and to direct special attention to its cultural drivers, particularly in the realm of literature.
Representing the first comparative study of Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar literatures in the English language, this article posits that works by such prominent figures as Lesia Ukraïnka and Şamil Alâdin have actively engaged in intricate, mutual processes of “nominal metaphorization” since the late nineteenth century. These processes, which center on representations of experiences of victimization, help account not only for the practical and political nature of the Ukrainian–Crimean Tatar alliance, but also for its affective and empathic power.