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Interview with Veronica Khokhlova

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♫♫♫♫♫♫ I'm Veronica Khokhlova I'm regional editor for Central and Eastern Europe I spent three years total in the states and I really miss my friends there I really miss the libraries I miss many things, but mainly my friends and the libraries. We also lived in St. Petersburg for two years. Moscow, St. Petersburg: I have a love-hate relationship with these places. Just like with any other big city I've lived in. I have a love-hate relationship with my native Kyiv. With Istanbul it is only love at this point because I'm only going there as a tourist. I've never lived there for longer than a month. So I still feel like a welcomed guest there. So it is a 100% love relationship. Cities where I've lived - Moscow, Kiev, St. Petersburg - it's love-hate. But big cities, it is impossible to have any other feeling. I first started blogging sometime in 2003 but then I stopped and then I resumed blogging in 2004 when the Beslan hostage crisis happened. And I just had to write so I started blogging again and I kept blogging and no one was reading me and then I came to Kyiv for the election to vote I lived in St. Petersburg back then. I came to Kyiv to vote. I came for two weeks and stayed for two months and was blogging what is now known as the Orange Revolution. David: Can you give us a brief, 30-second description of what the Orange Revolution was? It was the presidential election that was falsified and people gathered in Kyiv to protest the violations and to do a re-vote and eventually President Yushchenko became the Ukrainian president. I like to call it not the Orange Revolution but Maidan because I'm sort of allergic to the word 'revolution' so I call it Maidan because Maidan is Independence Square where the protests took place It is called Maidan Nezalezhnosti - "Independence Square" When Maidan just started I received a message from the New York Times person asking me to write an op-ed about what is going on. Like a view from the ground, sort of And I wrote an article for them which was cool David: What did it say? It was about the young generation of Ukrainians who had much less fear and a much better understanding of what they wanted and how to achieve that than the previous generations The article was not exactly about our politicians the politicians that we were electing then and who are in power today and who did many things that were not very good and who have not done many things that they were expected to do But I was writing about, you know, my friend who was 20-years-old then and people like her They're still around. They're still around doing great things. As opposed to our politicians David: How did you first start writing for Global Voices? In 2006 February, 2006. When my daughter was not yet three months old That is when I started. And it was tough to juggle a new born baby and ... but I was still writing anyway, and I was reading all those blogs anyway at that time. I've always been interested in what people are writing about our part of the world, the former Soviet Union. So it kind of came very naturally. And it is still very interesting. David: What are some of your favorite posts or most memorable posts that you have published on Global Voices? The first one for some reason that comes to mind is not from LiveJournal; it's a translation of a woman who lived in Chechnya during the first war It is a 2006 translation that is the first one that came to mind for some reason. It was a very painful thing to translate. And very powerful. I don't remember her name. But it was about Chechnya. It was a first person account of what happened in Chechnya. And it was published originally in some forum. Not on LiveJournal. There is so much stuff. It is really hard to choose. David: Are there any stories that started in the blogosphere, or something that you translated, that then got into the mainstream media and then became a larger story? Well, Georgia ... the Russian-Georgian War last year. There were several people I translated who got into the mainstream media. The woman whose nickname is "pepsicola" or something I was translating her and then she was doing interviews and everything She lived in Porti, the town that got bombed. David: Tell me about your Flickr set on parking pictures in Kiev. [Laughter] I started it when my daughter was born. Where we live there are plenty of cars there and everyone at somepoint started parking on the sidewalks. And driving on sidewalks. It was impossible to go for walks with her. You always had to try to pass a car. You had to go out into the road which is dangerous. So I started that photoset sort of as a protest but also to vent and it didn't change anything it only got worse as you may have seen. I'm a sporadic blogger now Sometimes I write about Ukrainian politics sometimes I write about Russian politics sometimes I write about my daughter. Travel ... to Istanbul mainly because that is the only place where we go now. I'm sporadic and I like it. David: What do you see as the future of Global Voices five years from now? I really hope that we expand. I really hope that we continue to do what we're doing all of us, all the wonderful people who are working for Global Voices and I have only met one of them in person. I hope to meet everyone. David: Are you going to finally go to a Global Voices Summit? Hopefully! Inshallah. David: Alright, thank you. ♫♫♫♫♫ You can read Veronica's posts on Global Voices at Her personal blog is Music by Arsenal. Please remix, reuse, distribute, and translate this video. ♫♫♫♫♫

Video Details

Duration: 8 minutes and 16 seconds
Country: Ukraine
Language: English
Producer: David Sasaki
Director: David Sasaki
Views: 195
Posted by: oso on Oct 25, 2009

Central and Eastern European Editor for Global Voices

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