About

@ Jan Zappner

I’m Prune, a (very) independent journalist and author.

Born in France in 1981, I graduated with a Master Degree in International Public Law and Political Sciences. Since 2008, I am based in Berlin after a few stops in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Salamanca, Sevilla, Budapest, Brussels, Nicosia or Paris.

During the last decade, I chose to dedicate myself to reportages. My print or multimedia longreads about Eastern and Central Europe, Balkans or Germany have appeared in Médiapart, l’Obs, GEO, M, The Guardian, Grazia, Vice… I also work as a TV writer for Karambolage (ARTE) and the reporting magazine ‘Nous les Européens‘ (France Télévisions). My investigations have been awarded two times the Prix Louise Weiss, the Prix Philippe Chaffanjon and supported by the Journalism Fund, the SCAM or the European Cultural Foundation. As a freelance journalist in a collapsing media industry, this encouragement helped me (like a lot) to carry on in-depth stories and to explore new narrative forms.

I am especially interested in women issues, post-conflict societies and rise of extremisms. Among others, I got « embedded » with the Pussy Riot, witnessing a special ‘anti-Poutine’ action in the outskirts of Moskow. I related the sufferings of raped Bosnian women during Balkan’s bloodiest conflict and investigated the rumors of organs trafficking in Kosovo. I dived into the Baltic Sea to discover WW2 underwater chemical and conventional munitions and met the neo-nazis from ‘Golden Dawn‘ movement in Greece. I covered the last presidential campaign of Ben Ali in Tunisia, asked the Azerbaidjani youths what they think about their President, wrote about the boom of islamic fashion in Turkey. I looked into surrogate mothers business in Ukraine, interviewed Belarusian dissidents and visited Georgian and Southern Ossetian displaced persons since 2008 war against Russia. More recently, I observed the rise of the far-right, the so-called ‘refugees crisis’ and the growing anti-semitism in Germany.

Eager for more freedom and exasperated by the era of fake news, I lately escaped into literature. La fille & le moudjahidine (Editions Carnets Nord, 2015, Paris), describes my friendship with a young man, refugee from Daghestan turned champion of mixed martial arts, living in Germany and flirting with the djihad. L’Heure d’été (Editions Anne Carrière, 2019, rééd. Points, 2020, Paris) depicts the transformations of a buzzing capital, Berlin, between gentryfication and precarity. The novel also pinpoints the hopes and desillusions of the Millenials generation and chronicles a troubled Europe, on the verge of a nervous breakdown. L’heure d’été was selected for the Prix Goncourt du premier roman.

I am also the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Sisters of Europe, a platform documenting women’s condition in post #MeToo Europe via 27 in-depth interviews of 27 women from 27 countries, four debates and an online campaign. Both archive and non-profit initiative, the project gathered a pop-up newsroom of over 70 freelancers based all over Europe and has been nominated for the 2021 Innovation Award of the European Press Prize.

Website: Johan Giraud 😇