Olena Zadorozhna – journalist, volunteer, social activist, poet, author of poem “Girls” ( “Girls cut the braids …”), dedicated to Ukrainian volunteers, the poem was set to music by Daria Yakovenko.
Biography: Born in Poltava. Journalist, writer. From 2002 to 2010 has worked at the local TV-Radio Channel “Ltava.” In 2004, was a member of the “Orange Revolution”, after this event has been interesting in political processes in the country. In 2013 moved to Kyiv, worked as an deputy assistant, participated in the Revolution of dignity. Since 2014 engaged in volunteering, traveled with a group of colleagues at the front. Now – an active member of the “Lohvyts’kiy district council school” aimed at preserving the unique complex of buildings designed by architect Athanasius Slastion. In 2015 it was published a collection of poems “The one who was able to rise again”, dedicated to the events in Eastern Ukraine.
UWG: How your volunteer activity was started? What was the driving force for this?
In summer 2014 relatives of mobilized people and the soldiers themselves, who came from Lohvytskiy district, contacted us, assistants of deputy of our county, also appealed to the Deputy himself. Then they were really naked, and it is said not for effect, but that was the reality. Therefore, in view of this situation, gradually began to study the problem, how we can assist. Deputy receptions immediately turned to the warehouse and we compiled all gathered from people. By the way, it was very nice to feel community shoulder – almost all the village council district willingly responded. And some benefactors came directly before sending machines and swore at us, they said, we badly inform, accidentally learned about collecting, and people are eager to help. Overall, we estimate that passed in front more than 200 tons of food – and it’s all thanks to the generosity of our people. By the way, it inspired the movement in that direction. And also an inspiring factor was that countrymen at the front were very happy when they saw the car numbers of his native region – came always welcomed, found out who is where. Generally, volunteering has given a lot of acquaintances, friends, and in some ways has changed the perception of reality.
UWG: Your collection of war poems – how it was written? In “hot pursuit”? It was hard to compose, or what is called “spilled”?
It is really “spilled”. If I did not write war poems, I probably went to crazy. It was written as a reaction on the events that were in the end of 2014 – beginning of 2015. In fact, this understanding of some episodes, comment on them. For me it is certain semantic codes that intertwine in time when I was not easy to accept that reality, including a period when our guys kept Airport. The recent presentation in Poltava showed that even the reading of texts on public pulls out a painful condition. A few days I had to recover… On one hand, I see that these texts touch with those who are on this wave. On the other, they are quite traumatic, because was written in this state, and it bounces by readers. It is such type of own observations when people come and say, that could not hold back the tears…
UWG: The fact that you are actively doing quite peaceful – project “Lohvyts’kiy district council school” what the project is about?
Oh, I can tell about it for a long time. This project in 2009 came up with TV presenter Olga Gerasimyuk. Then she was a deputy, but the high court sent her, frankly, to hell – it is no money it is not the time. However, the building erected by Ukrainian artist and architect Athanasius Slastion not let her rest, because at the beginning of 2016 she went to Taras Kutoviy, a deputy elected by the district in Poltava, where in fact there are these schools, to the one involved. Actually as his assistant, he drew me to coordination project. But at the very beginning it was “project for the soul” for me and then everything else. And this project has a perspective, practical and very real content – schools that are intended as educational institutions today can save its function, but work not only for children but also for the entire community. One of our main desires that around these buildings people and communities to be unify, we do all possible to reach this goal and we already have some successes. In addition, these schools – are really unique works of architecture, art, if you will. And IX can and should be restored and saved and, moreover, they have not lost their functionality. Unfortunately, we do not have time to act as quickly as we want because of lack of people, and schools – 53. But recently, thanks to our work, 9 schools received protected status, will soon be ready documents for another batch of these unique buildings. In the future, we want apply to international institutions, in particular, to the UNESCO to include them in the list of local attractions as the whole complex. For Poltava it will be superfluous.
UWG: You have experience in politics. In your opinion, women in the political game of power – what is their place in it?
Different women – different roles. Just as in the world of men – there is a populist, there is efficient and effective. The only thing is always jocosely to hear from men, “it is not a girls’ thing”. Once a taxi driver drove me and my colleague to election headquarters and he said that girls do not ought to talk about politics when we commented to each other the information that was played on the radio. Well, we were just smiled; he did not know where we were driving.
UWG: You think you are realized woman?
Well, I do not going to die, to sum up. I constantly probes life in terms of opportunities and coordinate them with their desires. My ambition is to show Ukrainians existing peripherals for opportunity. When I will finish several successful cases where villagers will wipe the nose thanks to their skill and talent, they are successful and set the trend – then we can talk about something. Apparently)
UWG: Do you have some women as inspiring example of moral authority?
I know that she has many adversaries, but it is Oksana Stefanovna Zabuzhko. Her ability to articulate the word fascinates. And she has 3D vision processes. Moreover, her speeches and lectures encouraging that still everything are bad, but not quite. One more example of moral authority is Telnyuk sisters, who have produced a unique world of art. If taking the foreign inspiration – a women of art of course. Pee Jay Harvey, Björk, Sheryl Crow. After all, they are workers of art, but it’s always politics. Not in the sense of some games, but in terms of position, expression, reproduction of identity. Influence by means of art I think is the main key. Unfortunately, in our country quality art is for underground consumer and all doth pop slag is popular. It also affects the mind – reflecting off a sense of beauty and aesthetic guidelines.
UWG Have you ever met with gender discrimination in life? Professional suspicion, because of your gender? Did it appear in ATO zone?
Frankly, except at the household level a la “you are a woman; you really not ought to be interested in the engine or clutch.” In ATO, guys were simply confused by the presence of women in the arrangement. After all, I usually argue this by work that I can. And if a person trusts in something, such as woman is unable to do something, well, it is the problem of that person. By the way, I know a large number of girls associated with the war much closer than I am. They were just more “bitten”. But again, the man proves his ability by affairs.
UWG: Volunteering, work, poetry readings, public project … is there for you at all the concept of “free time”, and if so – what is it: hobbies?
If free time – this is when the head is not clogged by thoughts, almost none. Moreover, it mercilessly devours social networks. But I like to read, so I try if possible not to indulge in it. And recently came up with a piece of regime – switch off in the evening of social networks. This way, stabilizes, protects nerves and frees time to read or to write something.
UWG: How do you refresh yourself, could you advise something to other girls?
There is no universal recipe. I am a cycle’s person. That could be some time when I can be in good shape and working out seven days a week and out of all sorts of graphics but certainly after that exhaustion comes. And then you can just lie down and, as I say, spit at the ceiling. I cannot say how long this mode will last creep speed. Usually just the projects activates the option “workaholic.” But if you do not do the pause, you have to act on last legs. Just know that between the party and sit at home, I will chose a second one if I want recover. Maybe because I’m inherently prefer more privacy than a loud party. I was most inspired by intimate gatherings with loved in spirit people; fortunately, I have many comrades and companions. Largely, friendly circle were built around the theme of war and it is a kind of marker. At some party I appear accidentally, very rarely, I usually feel uncomfortable there, I am boring, and the main span of time watching people and trying to understand why it is cool, and what they do beyond that.
UWG: Your dream, target, cherished desire?
I am not sure, the ultimate goal of man to achieve something and calm down, they say, achieved. I’m a person of movement. For example, I would have enjoyed that I have a chance to drive some two-meter Cadillac or Plymouth of 60s, to hitch a hot sun track, and that certainly something good plays in columns. Specifically, in this situation is CCR – Porterville. I want always be able to move and travel – it always brings experience, which is something you can use. A cherished desire is like a fantasy: conscious, self-correcting, polite society, who can think, understands the process and do not grind nonsense like “Conspiracy Masons” and so on. It is very sad when such people live in places where there is no access to education, and very scared when reached to such positions. But I glad that appeared a considerable number of community initiatives, organizations which take processes into their own hands and carry out changes. So maybe it is true that, dearest realizes. Over time.