We Accept (2018 – ongoing)
By narrating inspiring, empowering and honest stories from individuals, who have decided to be more open in a hostile environment, the media project We Accept seeks to raise awareness about the damage and difficulties surrounding the spread of homophobia and transphobia. It gathers stories of LGBT people who decide to step out of the shadows in countries with high levels of homo-, bi-and transphobia. They chose unmasked life despite the difficulties they encountered. Thanks to them, the LGBT community and its problems become more visible. The first part was launched in English and Russian in 2018. At the moment the project team is working on publishing a second part: It will be dedicated to parents of LGBT people and their stories.
Anastasiia Sechina (Russia), Bojan Stojkovski (North Macedonia)
Voices of Change (2017-2018 )
The project aims to show stories of politically active young people from post-communist countries. The project team cooperated with aspiring journalists from respective countries. Selected participants interviewed local activists to share their stories with the Western audience who often fail to understand political and social processes taking place in Eastern Europe. 10 selected journalists from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Hungary and Poland researched and wrote stories about young change-makers from their countries. The project included a research trip to Belarus, where the coordinators met with local activists and created several stories.
Natalia Smolentceva (Russia/Germany), Varvara Morozova (Russia/Germany), Maria Baldovin (Italy), Murat Ambarian (Russia)
Talking Buildings from Soviet Chechnya (2017-2018)
The project’s narration follows an almost disappearing path through the remains of Chechnya’s collective industries uncovering the memories and experiences of seven Chechen women, now aged from 50 to 67, who used to work in the various socialist farms, factories and cultural institutions during the USSR. Told through the prism of the buildings’ physical remains, the narrations delves deep into individual stories of how Chechen women actively participated in Soviet society while respecting the traditional and Islamic way of life in their families at the same time. The project is based on biographical interviews with time witnesses. The stories were featured on the online media Retrograd and B-East.
Asia Umarova (Russia), Oksana Manchak (Germany), Johanna Pruessing (Germany/Poland)
The project was supported by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom in Moscow.
Human Faces of Conflicts (2016)
The project was initiated as an online platform providing video and written stories of people involved in conflicts within the Balkans, the Caucasus and Eastern Europe. The project sought to show the human faces of conflicts and to encourage reflection by sharing personal experiences of people on the “other” conflicting side. Ultimately, the main goal was to counteract the equating of “others” to “enemies”, which is at the core of most regional conflicts.
Zurab Aznaurashvili (Georgia), Tatevik Bijoyan (Russia/Armenia), Serena Bonato (Italy), Oleksandra Garshyna (Ukraine), Irina Kniazeva (Germany/Russia), Michael E. Lambert (France), Claire Liu (United Kingdom), Sarah Pagung (Germany), Liubov Vnukova (Russia)