Import – Export

Robert RigneyRobert Rigney is a US-German reporter and writer born and living in Berlin and travelling extensively. He has a column called Import – Export at the Berlin Magazine Exberliner which is also the name of his homepage. Robert has written for American newspapers, UK and US art and music magazines and German magazines like Spiegel online, Die Tageszeitung. He’s also had short stories published in The Istanbul Review and SAND Magazine. Some of his reports will now appear on Balkan Stories Blog.

Robert has travelled the Balkans extensively for more than a decade now. Initally, it was the music of Goran Bregović, Boban Marković, Gogol Bordello and others that took him there.

„I had only intended to make one trip to the Balkans, but so many questions had cropped up on that first journey that it was a torment to leave them unsolved. And so I made further trips to the Balkans every year, sometimes twice a year, by foot, by bike by bus and by train, from Serbia to Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, and Bulgaria to try to get to the bottom of things. I discovered a new side of Europe – an untamed Europe, a Europe of The Wild. I also discovered Balkan Gypsy music, for music played a leading part in all of my journeys; it came from bus radios, farmhouse verandas, Balkan kafanas and nightclubs, wedding bands, religious processions and solitary Buskers“, he writes on his homepage.

And he’s discovered more. A lot more as you can read on his site.