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Pieniążek Paweł

Period of stay: 01.10-31.12.2021

Evaluation sheet for departing Fellows

  1. What would you consider to be the major benefits of your stay at IWM?

Definitely the major factor was the stability and great environment. Every day I could leave my home space, go to my private office and because of the financial support focus on the project. Important of that was regular meals which help to organize a day. On the top of that was friendly and helpful staff. As a result I could do lots of work.

  1. Was the event programme of the IWM attractive and interesting for you?

I found many of the events attractive even if topic at first sight was out of my field of interest. The biggest downside – that was not a fault of the IWM – where COVID-19 related restrictions which did not allow to do as much networking and sharing knowledge like in the pre-pandemic times.

  1. Do you have any criticisms of any aspect of the Institute’s program and operations?
    Please include any suggestions for improvement.

It is not a criticism but rather a suggestion. Part of the Milena Jesenská Fellowship for Journalists is a travel grant. I think it would give more opportunities for fellow journalists if the travel grant would be outside from the three-months fellowship. So before arriving to the IWM Fellow can do the field research and then come to Vienna.

  1. Is there anything else you would like to let us know regarding your stay at the IWM?

Final Report sheet for departing Fellows

As mentioned in the “Terms of Award” agreement, we would kindly ask you to submit your final report on your activities, travels, talks and accomplishments during your research stay. Please be as specific and concise as possible!

In particular, we may ask you to list books or essays that have been written or worked on at the IWM, that have either been published or accepted for publication or that you wish to submit for publication. Describe briefly the nature of the work and give names of publishers or publications, dates and other relevant facts.

We would be very grateful if you could provide us with a copy of your publication(s) for our library or, if this is not possible, contact our librarian with the publication details. We would also like to ask you to list any prizes or awards you have received or will receive, as well as any scholarships and grants you have received or will receive.


During my stay I was working on my book about the everyday life in conflict zones. I spend most of the time on it. During the Fellowship I finished the first draft and completely done the second one. I was working on that almost every day, including many weekends.

In October I went to Armenia, Ukraine, and Albania where I was doing follow-up interviews with my protagonists. From those trips I published two stories where I mentioned IWM as supporter. One from Armenia about the young veterans of 2020 war in Nagorno Karabakh (Przyjaciele wrócili z wojny, “Tygodnik Powszechny”, https://www.tygodnikpowszechny.pl/przyjaciele-wrocili-z-wojny-169572). Second one from Albania about Afghans who the Us Army evacuated there (Uchodźca w kurorcie, “Tygodnik Powszechny”, https://www.tygodnikpowszechny.pl/uchodzca-w-kurorcie-169768).

Except that there was my article published in IWM post on Afghanistan (A State in Disarray, https://www.iwm.at/publication/iwmpost/iwmpost-128-statelessness).

My book will be published in June 2022 where IWM will be mentioned. When that happen I will send a copy of the book to the library.