I am currently a PhD candidate at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and I research the dynamics of memory in Bosnia-Herzegovina, focusing mostly but not exclusively on the legacy of the war.
My involvement with the region of the Former Yugoslavia was initially the result of a larger interest in problems related to collective memory of political events, and when I took my Masters degree I thought that Serbia might be a good case-study. My own country, Portugal, could probably provide an equally good case, but I took the challenge of studying a region I had no prior connections to and very little knowledge about because I wanted to have the outsider’s perspective. I visited to Serbia for the first time in 2006, and have since then travelled extensively through the Balkans, having spent time in all the countries in this region except Greece.
I have meanwhile shifted my focus to Bosnia-Herzegovina, and lived in Sarajevo for 16 months between 2010 and 2011. Ten years since I started studying the culture, history and politics of the Balkans, I have developed very deep emotional ties to this region, especially to Bosnia, but also in different ways to Serbia, Croatia and Albania. I have been learning Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian since 2004, and can now understand “the language” well enough to communicate without constraints.
I see myself above all as an aspiring writer, a blogger turned scholar, for whom researching is worth above all because of all the people it gives me the chance to meet, many of whom have enriched my life in different ways. I created this blog, where I mostly share impressions and reflexions derived from my direct experience living or traveling in the Balkans, as an opportunity to write for a non-academic audience, but also to try to offer a more nuanced portrait of a region that has not been fairly treated in the general media.