Daria Solomennikova Daria Solomennikova

I was born in Russia in 1991 and moved to Europe when I was 17 years old. I was in my second year of bachelor's when I was first diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome. I started writing poetry and got interested in art as a way to express and explain myself. I've graduated from Charles University in 2015 with bachelor's degree in International Relations, and then continued my education in Internaional Security master's programme.

After a major depressive episode I left the university in my last year of master's, and returned to Russia to see how the country has changed over eight years that I have been gone. And if I left it in 2008, I left from a country that still could be a democracy, now I find myself in closed and corrupted, distorted state, where freedom of speech has been nearly entirely eliminated, political opposition persecuted and stigmatized, and economy fully brought under the Kremlin's control.

I was documenting my observations, and eventually joined environmental movement, because it is one of very few opportunities for civil society to develop in Russia. Since Russian journalism has had very uneasy period, and propagandist state media outlets provide specific and one-sided point of view, I find myself threatened by impacts of information war.

This is why I chose to reach you now, hoping that I can help promote understanding, solidarity, and respect.

Currently I work on some personal projects involving photography, poetry and video-making; some of the poems and pictures of mine you may find on my website.

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