I am a British lecturer, born in 1984, who was living and working in Ivano-Frankivsk (Івано-Франківськ) in western Ukraine between August 2012 and June 2014. After a summer of job-hunting, I am now a postdoctoral researcher in Giessen, Germany.
I lived in the Ivano-Frankivsk for the first time in January 2008 and staying until July. I was resident in the city again from August 2012 and remained until June 2014. I first visited the city in summer 2005 and lived here from January to July 2008. I have a Ukrainian wife, a native of Ivano-Frankivsk, who also lectures at the university in the city.
This blog began with the intention of covering Euromaidan / євромайдан / евромайдан, but from a provincial perspective, while including my views on life at a university and depicting everyday life in the city.
Since those early days in November and December 2013, times have changed, as western Ukraine becomes a post-revolutionary space. In other parts of the country, there is internal conflict, intervention by non-Ukrainian militias, while the threat of full-blown Russian military intervention hangs over Ukraine.
I am trying to cover these changes in the blog, picking up on changes in attitudes, in everyday realities as well as local politics and the apparent rise of the far-right in the city. This reached something of a dangerous peak in the weeks after the collapse of the Yanukovych presidency and government, but seems to have calmed after the spring and into the summer of 2014.
While looking at political and social developments in the city, I also cover cultural life, new restaurants and the everyday, as I see it.
I have a PhD from the University of Glasgow in East European Studies and speak fluent English, Ukrainian, Polish and German. I also know some Russian. My doctoral thesis, available to read, was on postwar Polish history, with a focus on social history, peasant autobiographies and life in the new Polish lands.
I receive no funding for writing this blog, nor from any resulting interviews in the media. I am happy to be contacted about this blog, life in Ukraine or anything else.
I will also accept proposals for translation work into English from Polish, Ukrainian or German.I can be contacted by email below, on twitter here, while any videos I upload for the blog are here on YouTube.