As a result of the annexation of Crimea by Russia and the military conflict in the Donbas, around 1.5 million people were forced to leave their homes – a fact that is largely overlooked in the Western media. With no end to the conflict in sight, they are trying to start a new life in other regions of Ukraine. From a legal perspective, these people are not refugees, but IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons). This does not mean, however, that they are in a less vulnerable position, given the weak welfare state and inefficient bureaucracy in Ukraine.
In an attempt to bring the stories of those uprooted by the conflicts in eastern Ukraine and Crimea to a wider audience, the Ukrainian TV channel Hromadske produced two documentaries. The stories they tell are, however, not a cry for pity, but rather point to personal empowerment, human bonds and hope.
Hromadske is an independent television station based in Kyiv, Ukraine, and launched in November 2013 on the eve of the Euromaidan. It broadcasts in Ukrainian, English and Russian. Founded and run by journalists as a self-governed NGO, Hromadske has revolutionised the digital media landscape in Ukraine and become one of the few strongholds of high quality journalism in the country. Documentaries on current issues are an important element of Hromadske’s TV program.
Bettina Henkel, Artist and Director of colabs, Media Laboratory, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
Tatiana Zhurzhenko, Director of the Ukraine in European Dialogue program, IWM
Angelina Kariakina, Editor-in-chief, Hromadske TV, Kyiv
Looks Like Home
(Oleksandr Nazarov, Angelina Kariakina, 2016, 45 min, original with Engl. subtitles)
Yulia, Oleh and Nataliya were forced to flee their homes because of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. The film takes a closer look at their lives at the moment when the drama of the war seems to be behind them, but their biggest challenge–a new life in a new city–is still ahead of them.
Bread with Cheese
(Oleksandr Nazarov, Anna Tsyhyma, 2017, 45 min, original with Engl. subtitles)
In summer 2014, several Tatar and Caucasian Muslim families moved from the annexed Crimean peninsula to a small village near the Ukrainian-Polish border. The film follows their attempt to settle down and start a business in a traditional Western-Ukrainian community.
Angelina Kariakina and Nastya Kanaryova
Moderator: Carl Henrik Fredriksson, co-founder and former Editor-in-Chief of Eurozine
Angelina Kariakina is a journalist and documentary enthusiast. Born in Kyiv in 1985, she majored in German studies at Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University. She worked as a correspondent and editor with print media and in 2011 joined the Euronews Kyiv bureau covering Ukrainian political and social affairs, the Maidan protests and the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. In 2015 she joined the independent media project Hromadske TV where she covered the Oleg Sentsov and Oleksandr Kolchenko trial in Russia and the refugee crisis in Hungary. In 2016 she started the investigative documentary series Traces of the Revolution with fellow journalist Anastasia Stanko, which received a prize at the Mezhyhirya fest. In she 2016 took part in the exhibition Sentsov’s Camera (GFZK Leipzig, curated by Kateryna Mishchenko) with a documentary project “There’s a thing about Rostov”. Currently she works as an editor-in-chief at Hromadske TV, Kyiv.
Nastya Kanaryova is a journalist and documentary filmmaker. Born in Kazakhstan in 1991, she moved with her family to Kyiv in 1997. She has a BA in social sciences and a MA from Kyiv Mohyla School of Journalism. While still a student she started working as a journalist for a local weekly newspaper. Currently she serves as a reporter at Hromadske. Her special interests are conflicts in the post-Soviet space and documentaries. She is one of the authors of Yuzivska Spring, a documentary about the dramatic events in Donetsk 2014, and is currently participating in a project about the war in the Donbas entitled Grey Zone.