Moldova’s Independence: A Youth’s View on Moldova’s past and future
Like Ukraine, Moldova celebrated its independence from the Soviet Union this summer. On 27 August 1991, Moldova’s parliament voted in favour of independence from the Soviet Union. Since then, Moldova has constantly sought balance between the country’s pro-Russian and pro-European camps.
The pro-European president, Maia Sandu, has set a goal for Moldova to be a member of the European Union by 2030. This is in line with the desire of the vast majority of young people in the country, who see a future focused on Europe. However, surveys also show that these young people see limited prospects for their future within the country, with unemployment topping the list of concerns. Recently, the conflict in neighbouring Ukraine and concerns over a possible invasion of Moldova have had a noticeable impact on younger generations. As a result, a number of young people have considered, and some are still considering, leaving the country.
In the fortnight leading up to Independence Day in August, I met several young Moldovans. Some of them told me how they see their country as steeped in deep-rooted conservatism, with limited opportunities to express themselves freely in public spaces. The underground parties serve not only as a platform for cultural struggles over ideas and values, but also an opportunity to live life in the here and now.
The youth I photographed in Moldova this summer, unlike the country still dealing with the remnants of its Soviet past, are hopeful, resilient and full of life.