balkan stories


Dezember 2015

Hvala za 2015

As the year is coming to its end and a new one is about to start it seems to be time for a short look back into the highlights of this blog’s first year of existence.

One thing that can be said about Balkan Stories Blog is that it has been picking up steam recently. More than 1.100 people have visited the blog so far. That’s 900 visitors up compared to only the end of November when I was celebrating Balkan Stories Blog’s first month of storytelling.

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Crni Panteri

Robert Rigney explores the soul of Balkan music as he experiences a wild night on a Beograd splavka. The trip, fuelled by rakija and Gypsy music, also tells a tale of the complex relationship between Gypsies and Serbs. Here, racism, cliches and exploitation mix freely with genuine apprecation.

Continue reading.

Title Photo: (c) Michael Fats, obtained under CC License CC BY 2.0

Srećan/sretan Božić

A message from people who know what it’s like. I took the photograph in the center of Sarajevo on my last trip. I can’t imagine that people there feel about it any different today. To be remembered today of all days when billions celebrate a refugee couple giving birth to a child.

Religious or not (like me), we all can relate to the metaphor remembered today. A couple whose child is about to be born is seeking a roof over their head. We can be fairly sure: It didn’t get that far just for the heck of it.

This year we have seen hundreds of thousands of people in a similar situation.

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A Holy Fraud

Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, better known by her stage name Mother Teresa, is to be sanctified by the Catholic Church next year. Bojaxhiu’s popularity even among non-Catholics makes this a highly political move. One that does not withstand scrutiny.

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Dva Božića

Christmas can be a tiresome if uniting affair if it’s celebrated the traditional way: Shopping, exchanging gifts and family dinners. As soon as religion comes into play, it tends to highlight divisions rather than make them disappear.

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Tarlabaşı: A Slum Quarter in Istanbul

Journalist and writer Robert Rigney explores life in one of the most infamous neighborhoods of Istanbul. And finds it disappearing as the poor are driven out of their homes.

Continue reading…

Photo: (c) Luke Michael, reproduced here with the express permission of the photographer. All rights reserved by Luke Michael.

Reisen im Kopf

Weihnachten naht. Wenn man schon schenken will, bitte Sinnvolles. Balkan Stories Blog hat ein paar Empfehlungen für Balkan-Reisen im Kopf.

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Srećan dan ljudskih prava

It’s International Human Rights Day. A day not only to celebrate one of the most important documents of humanity. It’s also a day to remind us what we all can do to protect each other’s human rights and to remember those that have done so even when risking their lives.

This photograph is perhaps one of the most iconic images documenting resistance against the Holocaust.

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The Long Road To Justice

The memories of war still haunt Bosnian society. Far too few responsible for the slaugther of 100.000 Bosnians have been convicted. This week a trial started in an Austrian court of law that may bring closure to at least a few survivors and the families of victims of one the many massacres.

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