Michelle Demishevich

(journalist from Turkey, JiR in 2017/18)


„I am a journalist from Istanbul. A transgender person. As such I can’t stress enough how important it is for us non-EU journalists to know that safe spaces like the Journalists-in-Residence Programme exist. This might sound strange to you, but having been to a number of the world’s celebrated cities in the past, never would I have expected that a smaller place like Leipzig would be the one were I would feel most at home. But the city made it easy for me to do so: Here, there is no harassment. I didn’t have to fear that my conversations were deliberatly overheard by bad guys in the streets or in a café. I felt truly safe. And because I did, I started to look ahead again. Hope is such an important factor. The coordinator of the ECPMF’s Journalists-in-Residence programme gave me that hope. He always encouraged me and helped me see the brighter side of things when I was feeling down. I’ve grown as a person and my stay has certainly exceeded my expectations.”

Photos: Stefan Jermann