Winners of "Born in '89"- essay competition announced
• 600 essays from Central Europe to Russia and Central Asia had been entered
• Ana Dabrundashvili from Georgia wins with a stunning essay on 20 years of changes in her home country
London, 07 September 2010. UniCredit - together with its partners, the EBRD and the Financial Times newspaper - today has announced the winners of its "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 Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia, an international jury chaired by the acclaimed Ukrainian novelist Andrei Kurkov 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. The story in its essences was stunningly serious and witty, tragic and funny as well as moving and wry. It reminds the reader that transition is a period of upheaval and hardship, but also of new chances and opportunities.
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 (Russia). They were also awarded cash-prizes by UniCredit.
On behalf of the jury, Mr Kurkov said: "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] see 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"
Reflecting on the strong response, EBRD President Thomas Mirow said: "I would like to thank the participants, our partners and our judges for the hard work and tremendous effort that has gone into this competition. It has provided us with a unique opportunity to hear the voices of a new generation - something which has given us fascinating perspectives on the value and purpose of our own work in this region."
The competition found particular strong interest in Ukraine and Russia with 150 entries each, respectively. The participation also went far beyond the capital cities and notable contributions came from places as far as Yekaterinburg, Izhevsk and Vladivostok. In Kazakhstan attention for the competition went as far as Karaganda. Significant contributions came also from Central & Eastern Europe and South-East Europe.
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