(Film director and human rights activist from Russia, JiR in 2022)
“I left Moscow on the day that Russia started the war in Ukraine. I had to run because of my personal risks as a film director and human rights activist. I desperately ended up sleeping on the floor in a friend’s flat in Tbilisi. I didn’t have any hope for my future. I felt my work as a filmmaker was over. Being a film director means self-expression. What expression can I provide to the world if my country started a horrible war against another beautiful country? I didn’t want to write, I didn’t want to work, I didn’t want to live. I had a total burn out from everything; life, activism, the political situation in my country.
Fortunately, my colleagues told me about the ECPMF programme that provides rehabilitation for journalists and media workers in a state of burn out because of their activity. I applied and … hurrah I was accepted for the programme! The long wait for my turn to get a visa for a third country was over, and one wonderful day, I landed in Leipzig.
Since that day, a new chapter of my life started. From the ECPMF programme, I got everything I needed to recover and to restart my work and human rights activism. I got comfortable accommodation in a nice Leipzig neighbourhood, a scholarship that covers my life expenses, and a lot of professional psychotherapy and support. Sincerely, for the first time in my life, I didn’t need to survive and I could relax and concentrate on my inner processes. I had time, resources, and psychological support to listen to myself and to reanimate from total burn out.
After 6 months of the programme, I became a newborn, ready to be a fighter again. My passion for life and work is back, I had a deep rest and now I am ready for new projects and films. I wish to change the world for the better again.
Thank you, dear ECMPF team! You gave me hope and changed my life for the better.”