I have lived and worked as a freelance correspondent in Almaty in Kazakhstan since 2005, regularly travelling to the other Central Asian countries – Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. I have also visited Afghanistan twice as a journalist.

Freelancer, employed – and back again

In 2012, I stopped being a freelancer. To be honest, it was for money: I accepted the offer of a permanent position as Head of Public Relations at the German Foreign Chamber of Commerce in Central Asia (Auslandshandelskammer, AHK). It was a very rewarding experience, especially working with all the AHK editors worldwide.

I gave up the AHK position in September 2015 after three and a half years, and since then I have been working again as a freelance journalist – the second attempt, then, with more experience, new contacts, and ideas that would probably take years for me to implement.

Activities

I am the correspondent in Central Asia for n-ost, the network of East European news reporters, and author and photographer for German-language print and on-line media such as Berliner Zeitung, Zeit Online, Spiegel Online, Die Presse or Ost-West-Contact. I do a lot of travelling as a radio journalist, especially for German radio broadcasters Deutschlandfunk and Deutschlandradio Kultur. And I still work as editor for the website of the AHK in Central Asia.

In the past few months, I have also worked as a book author for the first time. The Architectural Guide Dushanbe will appear at DOM Publishers at the beginning of 2017.

In addition, I work as a producer and fixer for international media productions in Central Asia, and occasionally as a trainer for journalists.

Education and training

I am a qualified animal husbandry worker, a state-certified business economist and I have a degree in geography (M.Sc.). After graduating from high school by means of adult education, and having successfully completed several internships during the course of my studies in Berlin, I started working as a journalist in 1997. I was a freelancer at Berliner Zeitung, Sat 1, N 24, MDR, editorial assistant in the television production company autorenwerk Berlin, and editor at Scinexx.

I am skilled in reportage, comment, article and feature writing, analysis and correspondents’ interviews, Russian and English, microphone and DSLR camera, Photoshop, Lightroom, InDesign, Audition and Premiere, Typo3 and WordPress.

Why Central Asia?

Coincidence. – After six years of Russian lessons at the end of my school days, my initial enthusiasm for this language had waned significantly. “Never Russian again!” was my former decision. But the collapse of the Soviet Union and the opening-up of Russia renewed my interest, and I remembered my Cyrillic reading and writing skills. But my two or three attempts in university language centres and further education colleges lacked motivation.

To really use the language as a journalist, I thought, I would have to live in a Russian-speaking country. After my studies, there would be time for that – and by accident it became Kazakhstan instead of Russia – a six-month internship that developed into a period in my life now amounting to more than ten years.  – Это жизнь называется, that’s life, as I like to say in Russian these days.

Kontakt und Haftungsausschluss: Impressum

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