Dean O'Brien's Blog

Interview with ‘Ukrainian Thought’ newspaper

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Last week I was interviewed about my ongoing project in Ukraine by Ukrainian Thought newspaper.  This is the official newspaper of the  AUGB (Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain)  who exist to develop, promote and support the interests of the Ukrainian community in the UK.

I wanted to make contact with the  AUGB  about my project as I was curious to see how they viewed the project.  The main reason being is that Ukraine seems to be trending at the moment due to the Euro 2012 tournament, albeit for all the wrong reasons.  I did not want to be associated with the tabloids who seem to be spewing out these stories on a daily basis.

Stories about racism. sex tourism and crime are rife within all of our daily nationals.  Some of the worst gutter press reporting has been emerging.  The worst example being this article which appeared in The Sun with the headlines ‘HIV Hookers Peril for England Fans – Ukraine Vice Girls Hide Disease’.

Paying prostitutes to pose in front of the stadium in my eyes is the equivalent of paying a drunk man to perform a trick for beer.  Something which is easily done.  It’s crass, plain and simple.  Why are they not looking at the deeper issues?  I’m more interested in the underlying issues with these girls and their ‘real’ stories.  Not what it appears they have been paid to say.

Anyway, it appears most Ukrainians may well have to ride the storm for the next month.  I only hope that after the Euro’s, real stories will start to emerge about the struggle for social change that many Ukrainians have to deal with on a daily basis.

So where do I go from here?  On Wednesday I am heading down to the Frontline Club in London to watch the screening of ‘Ukraine: ‘From Democracy to Chaos’ which is to be followed by a panel discussion.  It promises to be a good evening and  great opportunity to network.  I am also planning to pop into the AUGB offices and meet up with Myroslava Terlecky who has been a great help with the project so far.

My project is still in its infancy but I want to get it right.  To document real facts and be fair to those who allow me to look into their lives.  I want to take this opportunity to thank Iryna Terlecky who conducted the interview and all at the AUGB for allowing me a voice within their community.

For those interested, the pdf of my interview is located Here or by clicking on the image below.


Written by Dean O'Brien

June 11, 2012 at 10:55 am

Posted in Ukraine

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