On the 24th of October 2011 I was walking back and forth through the narrow cobblestoned street of Viennese borough of Heiligenstadt, constantly checking my phone for an email from Klaudia, the founder of Jewrnalism project. I sent my application at midnight of the very same day, and it’s almost been 24 hours of uncertainty.
What made me so eager to start writing articles about Jewish life in Europe for an unknown newly-born project? It was the name itself, which seemed to have a good deal of both Jewish and journalistic self-irony. I was also inspired by the fact that the project is based in Krakow, Poland; a city famous for it’s legendary Jewish history and some recent Jewish revival, which was meant to become legendary as well. To be a part of this revival was both an honor and a mission. Taking into account my obsession with history, the role of a Ukrainian reporter contributing to a Krakow-based Jewish project while living in Vienna gained a plethora of deeper meanings.
I also had a need to justify my Bachelor’s degree in journalism. Journalist’s life seemed like an endless journey to me: spending sleepless nights in trains and buses, sending articles from airport lounges and interviewing The Klezmatics or SoCalled. In fact, all these things happened during the following year.
Klaudia’s message hit my mailbox while I was passing by Saint Jacob’s church at Pfarrplatz. I was lucky to contribute many articles to the project since then. Being a part of a small, yet ambitious project, I alone am responsible for how exciting is my role. In fact, the choice is simple: to enjoy the journalist’s status while creating a bunch of typical articles in one’s lonely room or to be on the road trying to get breathtaking reports and inspirational interviews. My preference is the second option. This is why I think it would be interesting to combine writing reports with writing about writing reports in this very blog. I will share the stories about my journeys, about some fantastic people I had a chance to meet and interview and the events I was lucky to attend. But beware, this blog is far from being a memoirs – there are many new reports to come.