Ukrainian-born journalism student Oleksandra Gumeniuk remains resilient in the face of uncertainty and conflict

Date posted

5 July 2023


Originally hailing from Ukraine, Oleksandra Gumeniuk came to Edinburgh Napier University to pursue her dream of a career as a journalist after hearing about the university’s prestigious journalism programme.


Oleksandra’s enthusiasm for journalism began in middle school, where she helped to produce kids’ TV shows for regional stations. At university she took her skills to a new level by working as a social media ambassador for the University, and her journalistic prowess even took her to study abroad in Missouri, where she was involving in producing local TV and magazines.


Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in early 2022 marked the beginning of Oleksandra’s long separation from her family and native country. While Oleksandra remains in Edinburgh, she remains in daily contact with her mother, and has found a new way to connect with her heritage through embroidery.Edinburgh Napier University graduate Oleksandra Gumeniuk


Inspired by her mother, Oleksandra took up the tradition of embroidering as way of expressing the Ukrainian people’s collective sorrow through beautiful artwork loaded with symbolism.


As tensions continue to run high back home,Oleksandra has channelled this into her fourth-year project. She produced a documentary focussing on Ukrainian refugees living in Edinburgh, with the aim of raising awareness of the ceaseless work being done to support those in Ukraine.


She said: “For my final project I wanted to make something I had a personal connection to and highlight some of the amazing people that do incredible work to not only welcome refugees into the country but also support those still fighting back home. I had the privilege of speaking to the Edinburgh Spiders, a volunteer group that weave camouflaged nets from old clothes to help protect the soldiers and have created a safe space for Ukrainians to socialise.”


After graduation, Oleksandra will be continuing her studies with a masters.


She added:“Unfortunately it was not possible for my parents to attend my graduation this year, but it would mean the world to me if I could have my parents there with me when I finish my masters. I’ve loved my time at Edinburgh Napier and all of the help from the lecturers has helped build my skills and confidence to produce my own documentary that I can confidently say I am proud of.”