About the Project

The material for this documentary was collected during anthropological fieldwork between 2000 and 2012 in the Ukrainian city of Makeevka, which is situated in the Donetsk region. The study was designed as an integration of qualitative and quantitative research methods, with the primary goal of creating a complete overview of and insight into the daily lives of street children in Makeevka from a longitudinal perspective. The selected sample included 68 children that lived, during the research, in four different groups at four different geographical locations in the city (Naterer, 2010: 181-182):

• 1st group was living in the city center

• 2nd group was living on the outskirts of the city, the Zilioni district (about 12 km from the city center)

• 3rd group was living in the Pushka-Daki district (about 8 kilometers from the city center)

• 4th was living near the city center

project


Observation of these different groups proved particularly useful for two reasons (ibid.):

1. It enabled the observation of different groups of street children inhabiting three different locations in the city and observation of different environmental effects on a group.

2. It enabled the application of different methodological approaches to relatively similar groups (impact of specific methodological approaches on the group image, especially the method of participant observation and that of observation without participation).

 

Three main methods were employed:

1. Participant observation – daily participant observation was performed on the street and involved active participation in the group’s activities. Data was gathered mainly from interaction with street children in the form of field notes written as a diary, field report or conversation records;

2. Interview – a questionnaire with flexible, open-ended questions inquired about their current personal situation, family background, interpersonal relationships inside the group, living conditions on the street and their perspective on the future; 68 children were interviewed altogether;

3. Visual notes – use of video equipment to collect visual material from the children's everyday lives.


Additional methods were also employed:

1. a questionnaire with pre-coded questions – used during the fieldwork in 2000 with the main aim of gathering sociographic and quantitative data;

2. observation without participation – during field work on group number 3 in 2000, with the main aim of noting any differences between data gathered by participant observation and data collected by observation without participation.

 

Data collection during the fieldwork in Makeevka took place at locations in the city where the street children lived or stayed (ibid.):

• in the center of Makeevka: the central bus station, the Marshrutka station, the Passage shopping mall, the Univermag shopping center, the Plekhanov market place;

• In the Zilioni district: the bus station, the central marketplace (Krasny rinak) and surrounding buildings;

• Pushka/Daki district: the bus station, the Anastasia restaurant, the central marketplace and surrounding buildings.

 

Special emphasis was placed on the use of visual methods, which included the use of video camera and photo camera. The visual method was used in parallel with the method of participant observation; furthermore video and photo camera were also used with other methods, mostly with interviews and observation without participation (example Naterer 2010). In most cases, the visual material had already been used in the field for the purpose of triangulating already collected data. Four digital cameras were distributed among the children along with an explanation of the research questions and tips for shooting with the camera (the main guideline was “Take five photos of the most important things in your everyday life”). These photographs were constantly developed, so the children could add their comments). They used the video camera in a similar manner. Occasionally there were two cameras distributed among the children with guidelines for video shooting. The children were asked to record things that seemed interesting in their lives, but the primary instruction was as follows: “Make 5 video recordings of the most important things in your everyday life”. They mostly shot activities related to the use of baltushka, and because of the relatively high quality of these recording,s they were also used in the documentary film.