The Balkans Project

Words and art from the Balkans

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About the Balkans Project

This website documents a long-range cultural research and exchange project called Americanization/Balkanization: Where Opposites Meet, which takes its inspiration from the parallels between the diverse and dynamic cultures of the United States and countries in the Balkan region.

This weblog gathers interviews, artist profiles, and topical postings on emerging social change movements, with a special emphasis on the roles contemporary artists play in these movements. The weblog will document future colloquia, artists’ exchanges and exhibitions in the Balkans and the US.


Our goal is to create an interactive place for dialogue and exchange that investigates areas of correspondence and empathy between the United States and the Balkans as well as difference and misrepresentation. The title itself, Americanization/Balkanization, is provocative — implying the notoriety of recent geopolitical strife — but ultimately it reflects the pervasive over-simplification of complex cultural histories, current conditions and future potentials. Through interviews, profiles, dialogue, and artwork we aim to create an innovative platform for better understanding the complexities of change and the global impacts of the United States and the Balkans.

Photo by Niels Van Tomme

The interviews, conducted by John Feffer, co-director of FPIF, with artists, activists, and scholars in the Balkans provide diverse perspectives on identity, race, and the perception of the United States in the Balkans. The interviews were conducted through out the Balkans between September 2007 and May 2008.

The artist profiles, compiled by Olivia Georgia, include artists under consideration for the project whose work is relevant to the project’s goal of fostering exchange and understanding.

Olivia with artist

Americanization/Balkanization is a collaboration between Provisions Learning Project, Foreign Policy in Focus (FPIF) at the Institute for Policy Studies, and independent curator Olivia Georgia. The project is supported by the Trust for Mutual Understanding, the Nathan Cummings Foundation and the Tides Foundation. Foundations or private donors wishing to support this project should contact Donald Russell at Provisions Library.
Photos by Niels Van Tomme.


Olivia and Nicolás: arrive in Mostar»

Monday July 9, 2012 arriving in Mostar We flew from Barcelona to Sarajevo via Vienna and then got on a bus in Sarajevo at 3:30 arriving in Mostar around 6PM. The heat wave that was enveloping Europe was worse in Sarajevo and Mostar where temperatures were over 100. The bus’ air-conditioning was anemic at best, […]

Interview with Ditmir Bushati»

Ditmir Bushati Member of parliament, Tirana, Albania November 2009 I have been the director of a think tank here in Albania, European Movement, which I chaired until a few months ago. The focus of the think tank is to improve the quality of debate on the European integration process. It analyzes different aspects of European […]