Researching Balkans

The Guardian | Blocked in the Balkans: the refugees that Europe won’t allow in

This story was first published in The Guardian on August 8, 2017. by Finnian James SIT Spring 2017 Lake Forest College When the Faqirzada family set out for a future in Europe, they did not imagine it like this. As far as they were concerned, Europe meant Germany: their oldest son was already at university in Munich, and …

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The Guardian | Come together: how music is rebuilding bridges in divided Balkans

This story was first published in The Guardian on March 16, 2018. by Gillian Dohrn SIT Fall 2017 Colorado College A rock school unites youngsters from both sides of a city in Bosnia-Herzegovina, using the universal language of song. Back in the days of Yugoslavia, they used to call music “the seventh republic” – a great unifier …

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Bosnia-Brain-Drain_005_photo-Kinsley-Cuen

Balkan Insight | To Stay or to Go? – the Personal Dilemma Haunting Young Bosnians

This article was published in Balkan Insight on July 22, 2019. by Kinsley CuenSIT Spring 2019Elon University Behind the grim statistics about the high emigration rate from Bosnia lie countless individual factors and choices. The only way I can help my country is to become someone. But I cannot become someone here,” reflects 21-year-old Sarajevan Erma …

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Burgeoning Drag Scene Pushes Boundaries in Macho Serbia

Balkan Insight | Burgeoning Drag Scene Pushes Boundaries in Macho Serbia

This article was published in Balkan Insight on May 14, 2019. by Monica Starr SIT Fall 2018 Denison University Socially conservative Serbia might not seem a natural stage for gender-bending performance artists – but a new generation of drag kings and queens is determined to make its presence felt. When Zoe Gudovic isn’t fighting for women’s …

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Balkan Insight | Serbian Family Keeps Pianos in Perfect Tune

This article was published in Balkan Insight on May 3, 2019. by Derek Dzinich SIT Spring 2019 Elon University The Vrbanec family have been running the Pianoland company for four generations – helping to keep the region’s classical music tradition alive in what have often been very tough times. A thunderous, rippling sound echoes through the Kolarac …

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Balkan Insight | Serbian Doctor Finds Hospital Voluntary Work More Rewarding

This article was published in Balkan Insight on May 1, 2019. by Paul Rochford SIT Spring 2019 Georgetown University “Some ambitious young medics in Serbia, pushed into the private sector out of necessity, are working at weekends as volunteers in public hospitals to express their true vocation.” There is something very good about helping children,” …

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plazma photo by Kinsley Cuen

The Staple of Serbia

by Kinsley Cuen SIT Spring 2019 Elon University Belgrade — With its iconic red and white labeling and frequent appearances on billboards and menus alike, it is hard to avoid an encounter with the crunchy treat, Plazma, while eating your way through Serbia. Plazma, a small, crispy biscuit, can be found within a number of …

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zeleni venac market Paul Rochford

A Refreshing Tradition: The Green Markets of Belgrade

by Paul Rochford SIT Spring 2019 Georgetown University BELGRADE – Long sections of green fence surround rows of tables brightly decorated with hundreds of varieties of fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, and cheeses. Zeleni Venac, one of about thirty outdoor “green markets” in the city of Belgrade, is a unique landmark of the city’s food culture. …

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