On September 6th in London during an official award ceremony, UniCredit - together with its partners, the EBRD and the Financial Times newspaper - announced the winners of "Born in '89" essay competition launched last year to commemorate 20 years of the fall of communism in Eastern Europe.
Among almost 600 entries from CEE, Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia, an international jury chose Ana Dabrundashvili, a student from Tbilisi in Georgia, as the winner. Her essay showed a remarkable reflection of life in Georgia over the past 20 years.
Ms Dabrundashvili won a one week-internship at the Financial Times plus a cash prize from UniCredit. In the judgment of the jury she was followed by the contributions of Nikita Bolgov (Russia), Ulyana Yasna (Ukraine), Irina Fedorenko (Russia), Sonja Kasipovic (Croatia) and Daria Orlova. They were also awarded cash-prizes by UniCredit.
The acclaimed Ukrainian novelist Andrei Kurkov, who chaired the jury, has noted: "We were deeply impressed by the quality of entries we received. This made our work much harder but at the same time immensely pleasurable. Among the young writers I think we have discovered a number of real talents who are showing a lot of talent and promise".
Antonella Massari, UniCredit Head of Identity & Communications, said: "The massive participation in the competition has provided us with a unique insight of how the younger generation [in the former communist bloc] sees the events of 1989 and the world today. As a Group deeply rooted in the region and close to its people, we are proud to have contributed to an initiative that gives voice to their thoughts and feelings and which also fosters the developments of young talents."