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Here you can find the current events and news from the OEZA Liaison Office.

Bachmut in Bochum - Photo Reportage from Victoria Ivleva

Bachmut Ausstellung1
© Victoria Ivleva: Bachmut, Februar 2023, Allerheiligenkirche UOC

Photo Exhibition from Victoria Ivleva in the University Library

The University Library Bochum, in collaboration with the East Europe College NRW and the Seminar for Slavic Studies / Lotman Institute of Ruhr-University, presented a recent photo reportage by Victoria Ivleva.

The renowned photojournalist was present at the opening on Tuesday, May 16th at 6:00 PM in the Writing Café at the University Library. Ivleva showcased twenty-five black and white photographs from a journey to Bakhmut in the first half of February 2023, exhibited on Floor 1 of the University Library.

The exhibition was open from May 16th to July 31st, 2023.

The exhibition catalog is available in Open Access and a limited print edition. The curator of the exhibition is Oleh Sosnov from Ukraine.

Life under Fire

"The first sounds you hear from Bakhmut are the continuous echoing sounds of shots and explosions coming from different directions. Sometimes these sounds fade, but the silence that follows is no less menacing. You take a step and don't know what will happen next. You only know: you are entirely unprotected and just a moment away from death. Or a few centimeters. The feeling of an intangible danger lurking around every corner never leaves you for a second.

You are constantly under psychological pressure. Finding a place untouched by war here is difficult, and every simple walk on the street could be your last. People die in this city every day."

... This is how Victoria Ivleva describes the impressions from her journey to Bakhmut.

Victoria Ivleva

Video portrait available in the ARD-Mediathek of the ARD cultural program "ttt - titel, thesen, temperamente" from April 2nd, 2023 (duration: 6 minutes).

Since March 2022, shortly after the start of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, Victoria Ivleva has been living in Kyiv and actively supporting the country's fight for freedom. Her activities go beyond simple documentation of events. In February 2023, she was involved in the evacuation of people in Bakhmut who lacked the strength to leave their homes.

Victoria Ivleva has been honored multiple times for her outstanding dedication. She received the World Press Photo Golden Eye Award in 1992 for her photo project on the Chernobyl disaster. In 2008, she was awarded the "Gerd Bucerius-Förderpreis Freie Presse Osteuropas" followed by the "Andrei Sakharov Order For Courage" in 2014.


At the opening on May 16th at 6:00 PM in the Writing Café at the University Library, Dr. Jörg Albrecht, Director of the University Library, and Dr. Christina Reinhart, Chancellor of RUB, welcomed the attendees. Edwin Warkentin, Board Member of the East Europe College NRW, and Prof. Dr. Yvonne Pörzgen, Seminar for Slavic Studies / Lotman Institute, RUB, gave introductory speeches. Victoria Ivleva shared her experiences and answered questions.

Summer School 2023 with the Nemzow-Foundation

Summer School.1
Organizer Elena Resch (left) und Rector Martin Paul are very happy about Zhanna Nemtsova's visit to the Ruhr-University Bochum - here at the opening of the Summer School.

A voice for democracy

Zhanna Nemtsova is a guest in Bochum. At the invitation of the Nemtsov Foundation, a two-week international Summer School is taking place.

27 young media people as well as young scientists from Eastern Europe attend a two-week Summer School at the Ruhr-University Bochum. At the invitation of the "Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom," they will complete the "Nemtsov Summer School of Journalism" in Bochum under the direction of Zhanna Nemtsova until July 28, 2023. She is the eldest daughter of politician Boris Nemtsov, who was assassinated in 2015. The Office for Eastern Europe/Central Asia of the University Alliance Ruhr (UA Ruhr) is organizing the stay in the Ruhr region.

The aim of the Summer School is to preserve the liberal journalism community, i.e. independent journalism in the Russian language. Participants will also be shown the possibilities of academic careers in Germany. "Media play a weighty role in a functioning democracy. Therefore, it is essential to stand up for freedom of the press and freedom of opinion and to support democratic forces," says Prof. Dr. Martin Paul, Rector of Ruhr University Bochum. "Our special thanks go to Zhanna Nemtsova for coming to us in Bochum with this inspiring and thematically highly topical Summer School."

The Summer School has so far been held at Charles University in Prague.

Individuals are promoted

The event is now part of the UA-Ruhr's activities related to Eastern Europe. This focus continues to be of great importance even after the restructuring of the Office for Eastern Europe/Central Asia. "The Ruhr-Universität distinguishes between state or political structures and individuals. For example, since the start of the war in Ukraine, cooperation with state-run Russian institutions had to be discontinued; nevertheless, we naturally welcome all people on our campus who stand on the ground of our liberal, Western values and who are committed to democracy, the rule of law, human rights and academic freedom," explains Elena Resch, head of the UA Ruhr's Eastern Europe/Central Asia Liaison Office.

A building block of internationalization

The philosophy and orientation of the Summer School fits very well with the strategy of internationalization at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, which has clearly emerged in recent years. In essence it is about

  • the commitment to the preservation of academic freedom in different contexts,
  • advocacy for vulnerable, refugee or displaced target groups, and

“Her Father's Daughter”: Reading from Zhanna Nemtsova

© Zhanna Nemtsova: Her Father's Daughter

Reading from 7.22.2023

During this year's Summer School of the Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom held at RUB, Zhanna Nemtsova presented her book titled "Her Father's Daughter".

Zhanna Nemtsova is a founding member of the Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom and works as a freelance journalist and media producer, among other things. She is the daughter of the Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, who was murdered in Moscow in 2015.

The Summer School for Journalism and Socio-Cultural Studies is an annual training programme for young journalists and writers from all over the world. In 2023, the Summer School was held at the Ruhr University in Bochum from 16 to 29 July and organised by the UA Ruhr Liaison Office Eastern Europe-Central Asia (ADC).

The book launch took place on Saturday 22 July at 3pm in the Writing Café in the University Library.