Trends and society

Yerevan: the Mikoyan monument

28/05/2014 -  Simone Zoppellaro Yerevan

The decision to build a monument to the memory of Anastas Mikoyan, Armenian leader in the former USSR, has sparked a controversy on the soviet legacy and on Russian-Armenian relations

Serbia, 15 years after the bombings

08/05/2014 -  Federico Sicurella Belgrade

15 years after the NATO raids, Serbian society is dealing with a recent past marked by diverging narratives

Sarajevo, the shopping centres bloom

16/04/2014 -  Andrea De Noni Sarajevo

The Bosnian capital has a new shopping centre, the “Sarajevo City Center”. It is the fourth within a radius of a kilometre, in a country where the population is increasingly poor. But the city loves its malls

Zastava car is freedom

26/02/2014 -  Marco Abram

The first book on the history of motoring in Serbia, and Yugoslavia, will soon be released. An interview with the author, Marko Miljković

Belgrade on water

06/02/2014 -  Federico Sicurella

Turning an area of Belgrade into a Dubai of the Balkans. The Serbian government project for the right bank of the Sava, issued during the election campaign, appears unsustainable to critics

Sarajevo 1984, Yugoslavia's Olympic Games

31/01/2014 -  Azra Nuhefendić

Thirty years ago, from February 8th to 19th, the fourteenth edition of the Olympic Winter Games was held in Sarajevo. A few years after the Olympic facilities, a symbol of common history and life, were targeted by the bombings

Dimitrije Tucović: a socialist in Slavija square

29/01/2014 -  Marco Abram

The renovation of the centre of Belgrade will involve moving the statue of Dimitrije Tucović, Serbian anti-war activist who died in 1914 and has recently disappeared from the public debate

Serbia, the Karakačani legacy

13/01/2014 -  Francesco Martino Dimitrovgrad

Animal species almost forgotten are a treasure for Serbian biodiversity. A Slow Food project is now struggling for their preservation

Unije, the slow Adriatic island

23/12/2013 -  Francesco Martino Unije

The outermost island in the Cres-Lošinj archipelago, Unije has always given its inhabitants precious, but limited, resources. Today the island, off the beaten track of mass tourism, is trying to preserve its centuries old delicate balance

Ordinary disorders. The Serbian hooligan politics

25/11/2013 -  Federico Sicurella Belgrade

After a recent wave of incidents, Serbian authorities have promised draconian measures against hooligans, but seem unable to effectively tackle the problem

Mostar: the Old One, twenty years later

08/11/2013 -  Azra Nuhefendić

On November 9th, twenty years ago, the artillery of the Bosnian Croat army destroyed the Mostar Bridge, a treasure of Ottoman architecture and one of the symbols of Bosnia and Herzegovina. People reacted on instinct to the news

40 km an hour. The slow modernization of the Serbian railways

28/10/2013 -  Federico Sicurella Belgrade

The glorious Yugoslav railway system is just a pale memory. Today travel by train in Serbia is uncomfortable, and even risky. Modernization, however, might be on the track

Romania, the importance of the after-school programs

03/10/2013 -  Giorgio Comai Bucharest, Drăxeni

Despite the declarations of Prime Minister Victor Ponta, the after-school service in Romania still lacks adequate support from the State. Our report

Azerbaijan's futuristic past

16/09/2013 -  Arzu Geybullayeva

A promenade in Baku's museal system starts at the Haydar Aliyev Center and continues through concrete and futuristic designs. Building the new, however, does not imply maintaining the old

A lesson in queer

05/09/2013 -  Federico Sicurella Belgrade

In Belgrade the second edition of the queer studies course just ended. It discussed unconventional perspectives, marginal identities, and emancipatory practices. Osservatorio met with philosopher and activist Dušan Maljkovic, coordinator of the course

United we stand

22/08/2013 -  Fabrizio Polacco

Wrestling could be banned from the 2020 Olympic Games program. The entire family of the Balkan, Caucasian, and Central Asian states has teamed up against the decision

Hitchhiking with Jim Morrison

11/09/2013 -  Azra Nuhefendić

In 1970, students Cvjetko and Pavle leave Belgrade to hitchhike their way to the Isle of Wight. An unexpected encounter is awaiting them in France. Back when the word Yugoslavia still opened the doors to Europe

Musical Dialects of the South Caucasus

19/06/2013 -  Onnik Krikorian Tbilisi

Funded by a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, three students from the United States and Gibraltar are researching and recording traditional music in the South Caucasus to make it available online

Azerbaijan's flower people

20/05/2013 -  Arzu Geybullayeva

On May 10th Baku celebrated the anniversary of former President Heydar Aliyev, while introducing tighter measures to control the opposition

The Trabzon wisdom

27/05/2013 -  Fabrizio Polacco

Trabzon is a millennial hub of trade and passage. Within its maze of streets stands the church of Aghia Sophia, whose fate is currently at stake as that of its more famous namesake in Istanbul

Serbia: solving the three-body problem

02/05/2013 -  Federico Sicurella Belgrade

An extraordinary discovery by two physicists from Belgrade sweeps the world. The Serbian scientific community, though, is in trouble because of mismanagement and lacking of funds. An analysis

It is not easy to be Sarajevo

08/05/2013 -  Azra Nuhefendić

Throughout the twentieth century, Sarajevo has been both a symbol of political violence and a model of peaceful coexistence. The years in which the city fell under the control of the Ustasha are crucial to understand its contradictions. A book by Emily Greble

The Fenice theatre goes to Andrićgrad

16/04/2013 -  Rodolfo Toè Sarajevo

The prestigious Venetian theatre has begun working with Emir Kusturica on the production of a theatrical version of Ivo Andrić's novel The Bridge on the Drina. The project is strongly contested by the associations of the victims in Višegrad, where the opera is due to go on stage June 28 2014

Ajvar, son of the sun

03/04/2013 -  Francesco Martino Brestovac

In the region of Leskovac, in Southern Serbia, growing peppers is an art refined over the centuries. The “ajvar” is a fragrant pepper paste that comes with soft cheeses and pork meat. Our report

Contending Cyrillic

04/02/2013 -  Federico Sicurella Belgrado

The appearance of the Cyrillic alphabet on the new Euro banknotes has been welcomed as a sign of trust of the European economic system in the Balkan Countries. It is Cyrillic, however, that underpins three ticklish controversies, in Serbia and Croatia

Sex Education in Croatia. The war between the Church and government

04/02/2013 -  Drago Hedl Osijek

It is open clash between the Croatian Catholic Church and the center-left government. The disputed issue is sex education in schools, recently introduced in the broader context of civic education and health

Macedonia's state of democracy

17/01/2013 -  Risto Karajkov Skopje

In October 2012, the European Commission gave green light to Macedonia for the fourth time in a row to start the EU accession negotiations, still blocked by a Greek veto. But what is the real state of democracy in the country? Our correspondent takes us on a personal reflection on indicators rarely taken into account

Serbia: education, the market and democracy

17/01/2013 -  Federico Sicurella Belgrado

What principles should underpin Serbia's educational system from now to 2020? The answer lies in the Strategy for the Development of Education, recently adopted by the government. The document, however, does not appeal to many intellectuals denouncing it subjects education to nationalism and the market economy

In Şule Gürbüz's lost time

08/01/2013 -  Fazıla Mat Istanbul

She's not a hermit, though in other times she could have been. Her job is not in keeping with the times: she repairs the clocks in the Ottoman palaces. Şule Gürbüz is the only woman in the world to be an expert in mechanical clocks and author of two collections of stories which are small jewels of contemporary Turkish literature: Zamanin Farkinda (Aware of time, 2011) and Coskuyla Olmek (Die enthusiastically, 2012)

Belgrade: BusPlus terror

09/10/2012 -  Federico Sicurella Belgrado

A few months ago, Belgrade introduced the BusPlus system, which was supposed to revolutionize the city's public transport. But technological innovations have only masked the inefficiency and poor state of public transport. And violence against those who do not pay the ticket is increasing