• Kiev,  Ukraine

    Witnessing the Ukrainian Revolution

    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, Ukraine

    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 in Przemyśl

    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

    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

    Life in Kraków, Poland

    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…

  • Dąbrówka Dolna,  Poland

    Returning to Poland After 18 Years

    The Place: Dąbrówka Dolna (Western Polish Countryside) “There’s something ethereal and mysterious about travelling in rural Poland at this time of year… it’s the glimmers of candlelight shining between the trees… the total isolation I felt at Buffalo Ranch; the shroud of silence that enveloped me at nightfall, and nothing but pale light from the moon spilling across fields and flames dancing on stages of wax that give you clues to your surroundings.” Please note that we do not fact-check our interviewees, and that their views do not necessarily represent our own. The Person: Janus Wrzosek, 61, Farmer “I left the country in 1981 before the martial law started, and lived in…

  • Poland,  Wrocław

    Poland’s Identity Crisis

    The Place: Wrocław, Poland “Beside the imposing blandness of concrete apartment blocks that blend into the sky on a dull day, brazen Germanic architecture carves out slices of the city for itself. Wrocław is a city of contradiction, and a reflection of what truly happens when East meets West.” Please note that we do not fact-check our interviewees, and that their views do not necessarily represent our own. The Person: Kajtek Grzelka, 20, Pharmacy Student “I was born in Nowa Sól, a small city in Western Poland, and went to primary and secondary school there. I went to high school in Zielona Góra, which is a little larger and is in the…

  • Nowa Sól,  Poland

    Culture in Western Poland

    The Place: Nowa Sól, Poland “…Nowa Sól represents the changing face of Poland. It’s population is determined to make tomorrow better than today, a sentiment that oozes from numerous construction projects, new entertainment venues, and activities for youths that have sprung up over the last decade.” Please note that we do not fact-check our interviewees, and that their views do not necessarily represent our own. The Person: Grzegorz Miniach (Greg), 39, Team Leader at AB Foods “I grew up in Poland, near the place we are now… ‘Nowa Zabno’, which means something like ‘New Frog Village’… I studied civil engineering. I started a job in manufacturing and moved around this area a…

  • Germany,  Rauen

    Growing up in the G.D.R.

    The Place: Rauen, Germany   “Rauen’s wounds have healed, and only the scars remain; the long-abandoned mine shafts that puncture the hillsides and remain a hazard to anyone straying too far from the marked paths, serving as a reminder that an ‘old village’ does not necessarily mean unchanging one.” Please note that we do not fact-check our interviewees, and that their views do not necessarily represent our own. The Person: Petra (Pit), 46, Educator for Children and the Mentally Handicapped   “I was born in the Harz mountains in the Eastern part of Germany… I finished school in 1988, and afterwards I was allowed to go to extended secondary school,…

  • Berlin

    The Ups and Downs of life in Berlin

    The Place: Berlin, Germany “There are problems that come with such a size…Berlin, in a sense, feels as though it may topple under its own weight; but while it stands it remains a hotbed of diversity, culture and attractions waiting to be discovered.” Please note that we do not fact-check our interviewees, and that their views do not necessarily represent our own. The Person: Claudia Herper, 33, Receptionist I was born in Berlin, and I grew up here. I took a bachelor’s in biotechnology, and moved to Münster in Western Germany for 4 years to do a masters in molecular biomedicine. I’m half-Polish, half-German; my father comes from West Germany…