Stories East of the River takes an intimate journey into the lives of the new generation growing up in the unrecognised country of Transdniester, the breakaway territory between Moldova and Ukraine in Eastern Europe.
Transdniester announced its secession from Moldova in September 1990 due to ethnic tensions and political differences. After a short but violent civil war, Transdniester has been governed defacto for 21 years as the self-elected Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic but still remains unrecognised by the
The first generation to grow up within the political disharmony are deeply proud to be Russian but are starting to question the tiny republicʼs success and the implications for their own futures. International trade is restricted; jobs and opportunities are limited and on going difficulties with obtaining expensive visas limits economic migration. Some of the teenagers involved in the series
claimed that the government has profited greatly in the twilight of disputed sovereignty, lining their pockets and keeping its people in poverty - the average wage is $130/£80 per month.
Within the countryʼs isolated confines the decayed splendour of the Soviet Unionʼs utopian dream still hangs in the air, making the youth of Transdniester become something of a jilted generation, let down by socialist dreams. Evidenced by crumbling architecture of deserted and disused cultural institutes, with little on offer in a place supposed to be called home, many look afar. Access to the internet feeds desires to move away or emulate aspects of western living, but lack of vibrant and modern alternatives locally, reduces such to idealism, as the uncertainty of Transdniesterʼs future, continues their waiting game for change
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