NOUA Neighbours – Release Party in Berlin

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Credit: Diana Erhan

(See below for English version)

Wir laden euch ein, am 28. Januar mit uns den Release der zweiten Ausgabe des “NOUĂ”-Magazins zu feiern.

NOUA ist das Ergebnis einer International Autumn School, unterstützt vom Deutschen Akademischen Austauschdienst (DAAD) und der Robert Bosch Stiftung. Daran nahmen 20 junge Journalisten, Fotografen und Grafikdesigner aus der Ukraine, der Republik Moldau und Deutschland teil und arbeiteten gemeinsam an dem Magazin. Das Thema Nachbarschaft aus unterschiedlichen Perspektiven zu beleuchten, war die Aufgabenstellung. Der Workshop fand in Chișinău und Kiew statt und dauerte zehn Tage.

Das Ergebnis “NOUĂ Neighbours” hat 144 Seiten. Taucht mit uns gemeinsam am 28. Januar in die Produktion des Magazins ein, blättert durch “NOUĂ” und lehnt euch zurück. Es gibt die entstandenen Fotografien zu sehen, die Autoren lesen aus ihren Texten und als besonderer Gast wird der Singer/Songwriter Maxim Pritula aus Odessa ein paar seiner russischen Lieder spielen.

Wir freuen uns, euch im Alten Roten Löwen Rein in Neukölln zu sehen!

On the 28th of January you are invited to join us for the release party of the second issue of “NOUĂ” magazine.

NOUA is the result of the International Autumn School, supported by the DAAD and the Robert Bosch Foundation. In which 20 young professionals from the Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Germany participated. They cooperated on the magazine, which approaches the concepts of neighborhood from different perspectives. The workshop took place in Chișinău and Kyiv and lasted ten days.

The result “NOUĂ Neighbours” has 144 pages. Join us on January 28th for a tour into the magazine’s production, flip through “NOUĂ” and lean back. Photographs will be shown, authors will read their texts and as a special guest the singer/songwriter Maxim Pritula from Odessa will play some of his Russian songs.

We’re looking forward to see you at Alter Roter Löwe Rein in Neukölln!


NOUA Neighbours – Release Party in Chisinau

Credit: Alyona Ciobanu

On the 28th of November you are invited to join us for the LAUNCHING EVENT of the second issue of the „NOUĂ” Magazine.

If you remember how the first issue of „NOUĂ – Stories from Moldova” became a discussed subject and a desired magazine last fall, then you have to come to the party and find out more about „NOUĂ – Neighbours”.

The magazine is the result of the „International Autumn School Neighbours”, that took place in Chișinău and Kiyv between 15th and 24th of October. 20 students and young professionals from the Republic of Moldova, Germany and Ukraine have worked together and elaborated concepts of neighbourhood by approaching them from various perspectives.
As a result, they have created an issue full of interesting topics and illustrations – on 144 pages!

The first 100 guests will receive a copy of the freshly printed „NOUĂ”.

FREE ENTRANCE until 22:00.
AFTER 22:00, the entrance will be 30 lei.

Free drinks and a lot of fun are guaranteed.

Facebook Event


I am having a cranberry-sea buckthorn tea. The menu says it will strenghten my immunity. That is great, because that is exactly what I need right now, after having slept only for 4 hours.

Yesterday we celebrated ourselves: first with a fancy dinner at the Georgian restaurant, then with some drinks and music in Keller and Gnezdo.

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Though, we are still far away from being close to publishing a magazine. We now have all the texts in 5 languages (!), some of them are already proof read, other were just sent to friends for a last check-up (Thank you Lyndon! Any English native speakers, who want to volunteer?)


The participants are gone. It is a weird feeling being not surrounded by 20 other people. Now I can order food just for myself.


Christian, Johann, Fabian and me. We continue working from Kyiv, Chisinau, Tallinn and Helsinki. Marina, pretty soon it is on you – make our magazine a shining star!

I am super excited!

It is soon time to go to the airport, heading back to Moldova. All of us will be at home today, in their own beds with their own sheets and their mementos of 25 different biographies in their heads. (Except for Christian, he will crash my couch. Such a vagabond!)

I keep wondering, if the Moldovan group slept at all today. Their train left at 5:55 am.

Gladly, we were given one more hour! But what happens with the trains when time switches? And what about the cat; and Marty McFly and the dimensions?

Does this paragraph make any sense at all? Gosh, I am tired.


Thank you, guys! See you all soon. This song is for you (Johann´s choice – Seriously, Johann! Why?!)

Thank you for being with us and following us.




Please comment if you want a copy of NOUA #2, we will try to make it happen!

I Like The Way This Is Going

“Whatever seeds that you’re sowing,
I like the way this is going.”

It’s all about characters and words and commas. About style, grammar and content. And if I haven’t been dreaming of the wor(l)ds tumbling around last night, I’m pretty sure I’ll do it in the next. Everyone’s in a hurry for the most perfect content within the most little time. Everybody’s sitting in that bunker far away from day light. There is some sort of rain going on above the staircase. Anyhow, it doesn’t matter. We are up finishing that Noua issue #2. A few minutes ago I was in a Ukrainian village in Vinnytsia Oblast (At least in my mind.), where I recorded an interview with an ethnologist. And that is how I feel today. What does happen to people writing articles 48 hours non-stop? Will they ever stop? Will they survive? If they won’t, there will be a 2nd issue of Noua at least. Like the unknown demos of the Beatles or Nirvana.

Or just listen to Eels because “I like the way this is going”:


I would like to post this – just because I feel like doing it

Fabian postponed his presentation. People are busy writing their texts and working on their translations. It is 8:20 pm.

Today is Friday. In Chisinau I would normally enjoy my evening having dinner with some friends, maybe go over to Tipografia 5 to see what the hipsters are up to and end up in Spalatorie eventually to have some kakashkas, one or two, and other drinks with hilarious names which I cannot name here because that would not be suitable for children.

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When we went out with some guys from the International Autumn School to Spalatorie a week ago, everyone seemed so far from being stressed out or worried. We had lots of kakashkas back then.

I can hear Fabian’s voice through the corridor. He is giving a lecture on visual story telling.  It is a nice break for the participants who have been doing research and working hard non-stop.

The conference room is empty now. Silencio. I have an excuse to not join the talk. We have organised it as a public lecture last year – in Spalatorie.  And so the circle is complete.

I am looking around my working space. It is a mess: mobile phone, grapes, ear plugs, tea cups and tic tacs but also some tiger balm and vibrozil. Being in the organisational team and getting sick is definitely no fun.

However, the day started „nicely“ with a cold shower.  I should have taken into account that staying in a completely booked hostel in Ukraine also means having no hot water in the mornings.

I keep forgetting things. There is just so much happening around us.

Christian and me were the first ones to be in the breakfast room. We decided upon a motto In the Bunkerregarding the breakfast dishes: „First come, first serve!“ I am sorry for the person whose syrniki we stole in the morning. Really sorry, but I cannot have another fried egg with sausages for breakfast.

What followed afterwards can be described shortly as work: editing, editing, editing. We have read almost all of the texts in all the four languages in which we will publish them.

NOUA #2 is so close to becoming reality. So close.

Shortly, they will come back. I better continue working, the editorial is waiting for me, as are the evaluation list and the vibrozil.

Song of the day:

Text: Sophia Bellmann, Photo: Olga Macrinici

The 9th Day

  Quote of the day: “We are all going insane!” – Nico


Today is the ninth day of our project. When I signed in for this I had no idea how things are going to progress. So, here I am, lost in translation (literally) after a long night shift and with another one ahead me. Right now, while writing this post, I also attend Fabian’s  lecture on photography and publishing.

My day started at eight o’clock, when I woke alone, five minutes before my alarm rings (yes, it was set at 8.05) and started to write the presentation for the contributors’ page. After that I tried desperately to find somebody who could help with my research on Kyiv new name of the streets. While writing emails and text messages to different people, I make my own research regarding the streets and I equipped myself with a map from the hostel’s reception. Unfortunately it does not help too much, because I don’t find any of the streets on the map. So here I am, in my hostel room, lost on the Kyiv map and wondering how my day will end.

At one o’clock I join Lina, Olena and Vicky to the IDP Volunteer Center on the 9/11 Frolovskaya Street, where we met Lesya Litvinova. I do the pictures for this research and I’m quite nervous, because I’m not a photographer, but fortunately I have a good camera (borrowed from a very good friend) and I really want to know about the IDP in Kyiv and also help the girls with their research. We talked to Lesya about their activity and how they struggle to help those coming from the ATO zones to Kyiv. Lesya is a film director and as much as she would like to continue her voluntering activity at the IDP Volunteering Center, she is missing the movie sets. The meeting is full of really strong and touching stories Lesya shares with us and at one moment I feel that I will burst into tears. But I manage to take over my emotions and the meeting ends well.

It is already two o’clock and I still don’t know if there is anybody helping me with the streets project, but as I come back to the hostel I receive an email from Johann who tells me that Julya Kostereva would be happy to meet me. So we fix a meeting for five o’clock. As I meet Julia, we talk about the name of the streets, the way people perceive the space around them and the projects she runs together with her group of artists. Right now, I really hope I manage to write and also translate everything we talked about, till tomorrow morning.

Besides that, together with Lina we need to have a final version on our reportage about the protest camps in Chișinău and also to add the missing parts in the Romanian version.

Fabian’s lecture is already over and we are back in our bunker. I am not sure when we will go back to the hostel, but tomorrow at 8 o’clock everybody has to send their final versions of their works.

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So, I really wonder how we will be doing tomorrow morning 😀

Photo and Text: Olga Macrinici

Certain people, certain places. Second day in Kyiv

22 October, 8th day of our great intensive and unpredictable project of creating magazine „Neighbours”.
The day started with foggy mood and foggy weather, but in spite of that it was full of bright glimpses and sunny emotional moments. Mosaic of places and people, inspirations and intensive work made it unforgettable and very special.
9.30 part of our group gathered in front of hostel we are staying in Kyiv, Dream House hostel, and started city tour, small adventure of getting know the city better. Walking through the Sahaidachnogo street we were like students of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy who in November 2013 went to the Independence Square (Maidan Nezaleznosti) to show that they are students of European capital and European country. Guide who accompanied us mixed the historical facts about city past, some stories about city center architecture and events from the nearest past, Ukraine is known all over the World, the Revolution of Dignity. Going through the center we saw great architectural masterpieces and still alive wounds on the city face. St. Michael’s Cathedral (Myhailivsky Cathedral), Ukrainian House and European Square, Grushevskogo street, backyards of the Instytutska street, small memorials on the Instytutska street, Maidan Nezaleznosti – feeling as we are going the way protesters use to. This experience is very emotional…
During the day everybody was working on the texts or on the research projects. Kyiv-Mohyla Bussiness School (kmbs) is just the perfect place to work creatively together and separately, feeling the spirit of team.
Evening was especially memorable and inspiring as we had meeting with extremely interesting people who presented their projects and insights about neighbors.
The first speaker, Olga Martyniuk, was telling about her alternative tours through Kyiv. She emphasized that there is a big difference between the district and neighborhood, and last one is filling in with emotional ties and subjective experience. Kyiv is a big city, so it is hard to be attached to it, but certain neighborhood makes people feeling special about a place they live.
The second guest, an artist Julia Kosteva, told about her art projects which had an aim of social inclusion. They work with different groups of people: children, blind people, social anthropologists, musicologists and other. More detailed information on her projects she is working on is here:
And last presentation during the evening was dedicated to the neighborhood initiative “Samosad” Pavlo Kaliuk, shared his experience of creating public space in Podol area.
It is their fb page:
And three ideas on the Neighbors topic, our guest would like to see in our magazine are:
• Olga Martyniuk : “dark side “ of neighborhood, solving conflicts among neighbors;
• Julia Kosteva: private stories about neighbors;
• Pavlo Kaliuk: about trust among people, practices that make people trust to each other.

After the meeting finish all of us are still hardly working. Lights went out in the windows of hostel, but brains and laptops are engaged in the process of thinking and writing…
Actually, Friday starts…

Good night and good morning :).

On the night train to Kiev

Tuesday evening:
Chisinau is trying to get rid of us. Its places have turned into little lakes, its streets to rivers which flush us towards the train station. Rain is pouring down non-stop. The apocalypse outside awakens the social-darwinist inside us, the group falls apart as a struggle for the last seats in the bus starts. Completely wet we all make it to the station – that welcomes us with a series of fish tanks.

Entering the train means entering the next extreme: Our wagon gradually heats up to 35 degrees. Just the right temperature “to work on our projects”, as we all had announced before. In the end, drinks and conversations win over Photoshop and Word – all the more as there is just one plug. Later on, Britney and Oasis join our little party and the class trip atmosphere is perfect.


Wednesday morning:

At half past six we reach the border to Ukraine. The border control seems to be a lot more awake than us, so we get a coffee at our next stop in Zhmerinka. We enjoy our breakfast outside, surrounded by workers on the railway tracks, women selling their stuff and the view of the city with a mixture of old orthodox churches and industrial storages.

Today’s atmosphere is quieter: Some really started to work on their projects, others think of what do work on in Kiev. And some, as for me, just try to see as much as possible through the fogged up windows. Time flies and 17 hours of travelling seem to be a lot less than expected when we arrive in Kiev. More on that tomorrow!

Illustration: Swantje
Text: Lina

Song of the day: Ein ehrenwertes Haus – Udo Jürgens

While waiting for the rain to stop


It happens early in the morning that I produce a kind of scream while in the toilet: that’s because I notice a big unknown insect in the corner. I seem to have never noticed them before: perhaps they decided to come due to the rain outside. It’s our last day in Chisinau, and I notice autumn to come, for the first time here.

My roommate Olena supposes she would put her robber boots on: actually, for a couple of sunny days she wondered what she has taken them for from Lviv. Well, better later then never.

Everyone on the block is in a hurry. We are supposed to give a kind of ‘result’ today: articles and photos are to be presented to the whole group and for our editors to see where we actually are. But besides, we need to do all the stuff to say goodbye to Chisinau: buying presents and food, doing money exchange, preparing for the train. It seems to me that the part of our ‘Neighbours’ travelogue is coming to an end, and I feel sorry for it. Perhaps this is because of my… neighbours.

We get used to think of home as a geographical object which has some very precise coordinates. But there can also be a spiritual home – a kind of an atmosphere inside which you may cooperate with extremely creative and talented people who not only support you morally but also act as a source of inspiration for your research. This is actually the thing I’m experiencing here.

After finishing my first draft, I rush towards supermarket and then – the conference room. It seems to me that people are much more relaxed after having done a part of the task. Actually, it’s always difficult to start doing the job, it’s much easier when you have something ‘in hard copy’.

We are looking forward to reading materials which sound very promising: Soroka and its multi-ethnical population, an interview with the boatman, artists in different surroundings, mosaics of so-called ‘kioski’, and, of course, famous ‘Romashka’ (I really feel a little nervous when I hear this word) and, I suppose, many other topics some of which are still ‘in progress’.

The rest of the day we also spent in a kind of mess. Or perhaps this is only my impression J. In particular, I felt a little bit nervous about Nico and Anya (actually, I was the first one to meet them in the street). Then we were looking for Nico’s shoes (they appeared to be in my table, but I didn’t try to steel them, indeed. They are not my size).

After having picked up some scientific vocabulary in Russian we made some psychological preparations before starting a trip on the board of the “Moscow-Chisinau” train. Actually, we are still wondering whether there will be electricity and food on the board – a kind of experiment, yeah. We are ready to start J.

love your neighbour as yourself!

day number 5 and i am working by myself again. a bit weird after plenty of group sessions. well, actually i’m not all by myself, i have my cat toni chillin’ with me.

by inga ciumac

when i enter the conference room at 11:30 almost no one’s there. everyone’s researching somewhere somewhat or is travelling or is doing both at the same time. i meet johann and fabian who seem to be very busy with their computers. after talking to them about my market women-project i go home to work on the translation romanian-english. i feel like there’s always something getting lost if you transform a language into another one. but unfortunately my romanian isn’t the best yet, so i have to translate my interviews into german and english. the other difficulty is that i have to decide upon just two interviews from the four i conducted. it’s really hard for me since i am feeling a slight connection to two of the market women but finally the decision is made. rationality wins out over emotions. again.

time flies and i don’t manage to do the translation from english into german. instead i fetch the banner we ordered and which shall accompany our group from now on. it’s 1,50m x 2,00m but it’s not heavy, so i get to the conference room again by taking the marshrutka which runs so fast that i have to walk a medium-length way back to the hostel.

und alle gedanken drehen sich immer nur um das eine:

by sarah pukall
by sarah pukall

this time there are already some more participants in the conference room, although i am too early. the meeting will just start at 19:00.

at first, igor, one of the participants from last year’s magazine NOUA, conducts a small presentation about the NOUA-NGO. we talk about the future of an independent magazine in moldova or even in other countries, such as germany or ukraine, as we all hope for following issues of ‘our’ magazine.

then fabian presents a preliminary imposition plan which reveals that there is still a lot of space for the stories from and about kyiv. the group also thinks about postcards as a gimmick and/or an advertisement. fabian and sophia mention headlines, teaser and captions – words that are new to some of us, so we do need a list! lists are always good.

sophia reminds us to put also a focus on kyiv, not just on chişinău, which brings johann to ‘his’ topic: he presents a “less preliminary program for kyiv” that seems quite promising, especially because some participants have never been to this city. yet.

at last there’s this presentation about „some ideas for kyiv which have already been brought up (or not)“ that shows up a whole lot of topics to be researched in kyiv such as: domestic migration in ukraine; upper and lower class; pristroiki; global and local networks; neighbouring species (e. g. plants, animals etc.)…

afterwords, some go to eli pili to allay their hunger, others keep on working.

by sarah pukall
by sarah pukall

song of the day: space – neighbourhood