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On the Border of the Ideal

On the Border of the Ideal

In times of war it is difficult not to lose hope for a better future. Especially if a commitment to freedom and democracy has dangerous consequences. ON THE BORDER OF THE IDEAL follows four young activists from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Poland who continue to fight against injustice. What does freedom mean to them? And where does their fighting spirit come from?

Belarusian Jana Shostak knew from an early age that she wanted to flee. She got into trouble after writing a protest slogan in the snow in Minsk. Now living in Poland, Jana sees inhuman situations arising through all the refugee flows (first Iraqi and Syrian, now Ukraine). Some Ukrainian refugees even travel back because they cannot cope with the situation in Poland.

Polish activist Janek Spiewak has been fighting against Polish oligarchs and the neoliberal state all his adult life. In 2018, Janek ran for mayor of Warsaw, but he realized that the system would never accept him. There are hardly any social facilities, hospitals do not function, the rule of law is under pressure and the housing shortage is high. With more than two million refugees from Ukraine, the future looks worrisome.

Aleksandr Konovalov is the son of a Belarusian mother and a Ukrainian father, but he has lived in Russia all his life. He fled Moscow after years of worries about Russian oppression and has been living in Poland for two years. The arrival of thousands of refugees to the Polish city of Wroclaw, his home port, has awakened the activist in him. From Poland he tries to make his former compatriots change their mind.

As the initiator of the Anti-Corruption Action Center, Daria Kaleniuk fights against corruption in Ukraine. Among other things, the organization ensured that anti-corruption legislation was drafted in Ukraine. After the war in Ukraine broke out, she no longer felt safe and fled to Poland. The war has given new meaning to the struggle for freedom and democracy around the world. How do ideals survive in times of deep crisis?

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