The Western Balkans – a 'Double Transit' room

Solidarities, boundary drawings and boundary transgressions between migrants and local inhabitants in the puffer and waiting zones of the EU


The following DAAD Project aims to develop research on the former Yugoslav countries, especially the region of Bihać in Bosnia-Herzegovina, by observing its contemporary status of a “double transit” in the way that, on the one hand, it focuses on the difficult socio-political and economic situation and the partly halted EU-integration of the countries of the Western Balkans, while on the other hand, it wants to explore the state of so-called “transit migrants” from the global South and East who cross the Balkans in the hope of reaching the EU countries, and thus, a better future and livelihood. These two ‘transit situations’ should be explored in an entangled perspective.

Field research

Due to the current global COVID-19 situation, we decided to upstain from the planed common field research in the town and region of Bihac, BiH.  Instead of this, the involved participants continue to either follow their long-term research in the field of migration and transit situation, or creatied new research designs which emerged from the current challenges. This allows us to get a multiple picture of the current situation and to overcome the set limitations through the use of digital methods as well as doing fieldwork remotely.

The proposed paper aims to present part of the textual production of the anti-restrictionist and pro-migrant local and transnational groups, sometimes conceptualized under common denominators of solidarity, vernacular, citizen or volunteer humanitarianism (cf. e.g. Brković 2017; Rozakou 2017; Sandri 2018), active at southeastern fringes of EU. […]

Since Croatia’s integration into the EU in 2013, the quality of its borders is changing rapidly. Considering divergent border dynamics, the research focusses on the perspective of the local inhabitants of Donji Lapac, one of the marginalized regions along the Bosnian border in Croatia, and wants to explore the experience of movements and halts and their effects on everyday life.. […]

Šid borderscapes: memories and experiences of borders and refugee movements

Ildiko Erdei, Marta Stojić​, Teodora Jovanović​, Katarina Mitrović​

This research will follow the 30 years old dynamics of the bordering processes in the case of Šid, a small town in Serbia, located on the very border with Croatia. The focus lies on the transformations and encounters, shaped memories, experiences and interpretations in borderscapes at the margin of the EU.

Inclusion of migrant children in the education system of Bihać, BiH

Vildana Pečenković​, Amira Dervišević​, Nermina Delić ​

The research aims to analyze the initiate activities for the inclusion of migrant children is the Una-Sana Canton where the largest number of migrants currently resides. It is estimated that 20 percent of the total number of migrants in BiH are children, of which one third is without parental care. […]


Carolin Leutloff-Grandits

Senior researcher and project coordinator

Carolin Leutloff-Grandits is a social anthropologist who works as scientific coordinator and senior researcher at the Viadrina Center B/ORDERS IN MOTION, European University Viadrina in Frankfurt, Oder.

Marijana Hameršak

Senior researcher and cooperation partner

Marijana Hameršak is a senior research associate at the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research (Zagreb) and her main areas of research and teaching are migration, children’s literature and book history.

Vildana Pečenković

Senior researcher and cooperation partner

Vildana Pečenković, PhD is an Associate Professor of Literature and the Dean at the Department of Bosnian Language and Literature at the Pedagogical Faculty of the University of Bihać.

Marta Stojić

Senior researcher and cooperation partner

Marta Stojić Mitrović is an ethnologist and anthropologist. She works as a researcher at the Institute of Ethnography of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. 

Aims of the project

Exchange and connect

Within the workshop, academic partners, students and external partners as well as civil activists will introduce into the topic and give their special perspectives, which will enable the deepening as well as widening of knowledge and perpectives

Collective reflection

On the occasion of the current COVID situation, it is of great importance to reflect the range of digital and analog tools, techniques, and methods for field research across the disciplines.

Transition between academia and activism

One of our main discussion points aims to reflect on academic research in fields where activism is required. Together we want to talk about the possibilities of creating bridges and connection points.