One particular area of interest for me has always been anti-nationalism and anti-war activism. Living in a country which took active part in bloody conflicts throughout its recent history, and which is still very much shaped by ethnic-based politics and the (largely unacknowledged) legacy of war crimes, has certainly helped put these issues at the forefront for me. Because of all that, the so-called "Migrant Crisis" has from the beginning been something I've followed closely and talked about often. The horrible mistreatment of the people on the move, as well as the firing up of the mainstream nationalist, racist and islamophobic rhetoric which all seem to be at the foundation of Serbian society, in my opinion should make this a central issue for all the progressive forces living in this country. At the same time, however, I was living in a city where there's almost no migrant population, and as such no organizations/groups working on this issue, and so I didn't really know how to get involved. Given that, when the opportunity arose for me to come and volunteer at No Name Kitchen (my friend was going there to volunteer and they needed as much help as they could get because everybody else had left due to the Covid-19 restrictions), I felt compelled to immediately seize it. So far I've been to Šid to help out on a couple of occasions, and have been supporting the organization from Novi Sad as much as I can, by organising clothes donations, helping to translate, stuff like that. I'm really glad to have the opportuinty to help out in any way I can, and would love to continue being involved and, if possible, come back there to keep volunteering!
It’s hard to describe how different Serbia feels from Western Europe, and it’s hard to have an idea of a place without some insight from people that grew up here. If you have any questions for Laura or for me, comment below!