• Alexander Mirgorodski
    Chișinău,  Moldova

    Pros & Cons of the Soviet Union – Alex (Chișinău, MD)

    The Place: Chișinău, Moldova “Silhouettes of featureless, concrete tower blocks split orange rays of the setting sun, barks echoed, feral animals scampered across potholed streets, and I descended my final hill into Moldova’s capital city… I allowed gravity to take control as I glided between haphazardly parked cars, and standstill traffic. I picked up speed with a lump in my throat; less than 15 minutes earlier, I’d watched a distracted driver careen into a stray dog I’d befriended for several kilometres, and I still felt my arms tremble a little as I attempted to maintain my composure.” Please note that we do not fact-check our interviewees, and that their views…

  • Marina Skaletskaya Featured
    Bălți,  Moldova

    Inequality & Youth Culture – Marina (Bălți, MD)

    The Place: Bălți, Moldova “…shadows gradually emerged from the white, and Moldova’s peculiarities began to reveal themselves; indistinguishable at first, but gradually they began to take shape… the clip-clopping of a horse and cart carrying farming supplies, audible long before it was visible, which seemed to materialise from thin air. I was in a bubble, extending 100 metres from me in every direction, obscuring everything outside it from view. “ Please note that we do not fact-check our interviewees, and that their views do not necessarily represent our own. The Person: Marina Skaletskaya, 16, High-School Student “I was a volunteer for one-and-a-half years at a small youth centre in our…

  • Pavlo
    Chernivtsi

    Childhood in Soviet Ukraine – Pavlo (Chernivtsi, UA)

    The Place: Chernivtsi “Sunlight bounced off a mosaic of coloured tiles, visible only where snow had cascaded in an avalanche from the roof into the garden below. I was looking at the snow-dusted and grandiose UNESCO world heritage site, Chernivtsi University. Students strolled in and out of the main gate, seemingly oblivious to the breathraking beauty of what towered above them.” Please note that we do not fact-check our interviewees, and that their views do not necessarily represent our own. The Person: Pavlo Kolyadinsky, 36, Tour Agency Director “I was a PhD student in the geographical department. I finished that several years ago. It was to do with architecture and urban…

  • Ivano-Frankivsk,  Ukraine

    Escaping the war in the East – Yulia (Ivano-Frankivsk, UA)

    The Place: Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine “The snow brought respite to my eardrums, muffling the noise and allowing a stillness to take hold of the city. Voices echoed across parks, crows cawed while they circled above, and wind swayed creaking branches as artificial sounds, for once, receded into the backdrop… the capital of the Carpathian region balanced the tranquility of a town with the vibrance and character of a city, giving me time to catch my breath and for my senses to recover after my last two stops in Ukraine.” Please note that we do not fact-check our interviewees, and that their views do not necessarily represent our own. The Person: Yulia Ostrohliad, 36,…

  • Oleksandr Rozhok
    Lviv,  Ukraine

    The 2014 Revolution & Christmas – Oleks (Lviv, UA)

    The Place: Lviv, Ukraine (Again) NOTE: When I first visited Lviv, I fell in love with it. So much so that I spent more than two weeks overstaying my welcome with a local couple and a cat called Wusek. Since I stopped for so long, I decided to find two interviewees in the city which, aside from being mighty convenient for me since I’ve already written about Lviv for a previous interview here and so won’t bore you with a repeated description, also gives a slightly broader view of life according to locals in this part of Ukraine. Enjoy! Please note that we do not fact-check our interviewees, and that…

  • Kiev,  Ukraine

    Witnessing the Revolution – Max (Kiev, UA)

    The Place: Kiev, Ukraine “Though now a capitalist society, Kiev’s bedrock of communism is far more obvious than anywhere else I’d visited… Rather than remnants of an archaic communist world peeking through the veneer of a more modern, capitalist culture, it seemed to be the other way round. Though advertisements, billboards and the glass and steel of the city’s business sector reflect what Kiev, and the rest of Ukraine, has now become since the fall of the USSR, they seemed like patches haphazardly stitched onto the old coat of the soviet world.” Please note that we do not fact-check our interviewees, and that their views do not necessarily represent our own.…

  • Lviv,  Ukraine

    Speaking Russian in Lviv – Victoria (Lviv, UA)

    The Place: Lviv, Ukraine “…the atmosphere in Lviv stood in stark contrast to the silence that befell my last stop in Poland once snow dusted the cityscape. Women emerged from their homes dressed to the nines in fur coats, men added a foot to their height in the form of soviet-era ‘cossack hats’ that inexplicably left their ears exposed, and street-sellers continued to go about their business with a few extra layers than normal in a city that wasn’t about to let ‘a little cold’ ruin it’s day.” Please note that we do not fact-check our interviewees, and that their views do not necessarily represent our own. *In this interview, you…

  • Poland,  Przemyśl

    Religion, Communism & More – Maciej (Przemyśl, PL)

    The Place: Przemyśl, Poland “…tiles clung precariously to snow-dusted rooftops and cracked window frames released a flurry of flaking paint with a strong gust of wind… The sad fact is that a wilting local economy combined with a rich history means that there are simply too many historical sites in the town for the council to invest in the maintenance of them all. So, for now, residents can only watch as time takes it’s toll, second by second; death by a thousand cuts.” Please note that we do not fact-check our interviewees, and that their views do not necessarily represent our own. The Person: Maciej Orzechowski, 43, Genealogist “I look…

  • Podlipie,  Poland

    The Changing Face of Poland – Wojtek (Podlipie, PL)

    The Place: Podlipie, Poland “Somewhere in Poland, just beyond the reach of Silesia, a strip of houses cuts across a hillside; an island surrounded by a patchwork ocean of farmland. Its not famous for anything and it’s not on the way to anywhere. Unless you took a wrong turn, you didn’t come here by accident. The city of Katowice has shrunk to a dot on the horizon, and cluttered suburbs have morphed into rolling hills.”   Please note that we do not fact-check our interviewees, and that their views do not necessarily represent our own. The Person: Wojtek Hasior, 34, Health and Safety Specialist “Before I met my wife, Dorota, I…

  • Kraków,  Poland

    Living in Kraków – Marika (Kraków, PL)

    The Place: Kraków, Poland “…lights pierced through what I soon realised was a haze of smog hanging above the streets… the rugged faces that had peered curiously at me while I passed them in the countryside were replaced by eyes locked in a staring contest with the pale blue glow of a phone screen peaking out above air-filtration masks. But… the trepidations from my first impressions soon began to melt away.” Please note that we do not fact-check our interviewees, and that their views do not necessarily represent our own. The Person: Marika Kasprzak, 23, Student “…we’ll see what new days will come in the future. I used to have…