We shut our three-part interview with Vladyslav Demonenko, a barista and CIGS competitor in Ukraine who has relocated to Berlin through the conflict.
BY CAROLINE CORMIER
SPECIAL TO BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Photographs courtesy of Vladyslav Demonenko
From the editor: Final week, we chatted in-depth with Ukrainian barista Vladyslav Demonenko about life in his nation through the Russian invasion. At the moment, we find out about life in Berlin after relocating, and what this implies for his future as a Espresso in Good Spirits competitor.
Caroline Cormier: You’ve not too long ago been in a position to go away Ukraine and are presently in Berlin. Are you able to inform us how this was doable, and what your present state of affairs is within the German capital?
Vladyslav Demonenko: It was not a simple resolution to depart, however I’ve two youthful brothers, ages 9 and 17, who had been extraordinarily confused as a result of frequent sirens and explosions, and so forth., in Dnipro. So, I requested my dad if I might take non permanent custody of them and take them with me to Berlin. There, I’ve buddies who’re internet hosting us quickly, so it’s been a cushty interval for us. Our mom will not be in a position to go overseas as a result of she additionally takes care of her mom, who’s sick and aged, and my father is now a part of the territorial protection. I’m the one one left to care for them.
On account of a medical situation, I’m not match for army service. Earlier than I left, the medical fee confirmed my situation, which allowed me to cross the border. I’ve been in Berlin for a few weeks now, on the lookout for a brief job to assist assist myself and my brothers. I don’t understand how lengthy I’ll be staying in Berlin; all of it relies on whether or not I discover an condo or a job right here and, after all, if it will likely be comfy for my household. At this level, I’m extra open than ever to touring anyplace on the planet to seek out one thing.
You’re imagined to characterize Ukraine on the World Espresso in Good Spirits Championship on the World of Espresso in Milan this month. Are you continue to hoping to attend the occasion to characterize your nation? Have you ever thought in any respect about what it means to characterize Ukraine right here?
It is a very troublesome query for me. I actually need to take part, and I’ve devoted a lot time to CIGS. In spite of everything, that is my favourite self-discipline. For this 12 months’s competitors, I discovered an extremely uncommon Colombian espresso and got here up with a few thrilling drinks. However now I don’t even understand how I can compete within the championship as a result of the stress of the continuing state of affairs is so immense. Think about working in a espresso store one minute, and the subsequent an alarm sounds, and you’ve got lower than 5 minutes to cover from a doable explosion. And this occurs 5 – 6 occasions a day. Generally much more. In such circumstances, it’s troublesome to consider synergy, mixology, or style. On high of that, I typically really feel responsible that I’m in relative security and have the power to work, whereas so many others don’t.
Sometimes, I discover myself fascinated with the championship and what I might inform the viewers and the judges. It’s painful, not nice, for me to appreciate that I might want to characterize my nation. To be trustworthy, I don’t have the proper phrases simply but. However I do consider that this won’t be my final championship—I really feel it.
However, for now, getting from the fact I discover myself presently to the World of Espresso is only a dream. It’s unreasonable to consider my participation with out understanding what tomorrow will deliver. I do hope, and consider, that the conflict will all come to an finish. In spite of everything, we’re robust and united—and we received’t surrender till we win.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Caroline Cormier (she/her) is a contract author from Toronto, Canada. She presently lives in Berlin, Germany, the place she’s been supporting native efforts to assist Ukrainians who’ve fled to the German capital. You’ll be able to comply with her on Instagram at @ccormier_.