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Igor Petričević is a PhD student at the Department of Social Anthropology since September 2016. His doctoral research will explore the intersections of the economic crisis and migration crisis in Zagreb, Croatia.
After finishing his BA in Sociology and Anthropology (2009-2012) at the University of Zagreb, Croatia, he received his MSc in Social and Cultural Anthropology (2013-2015) at the University of Leuven in Belgium with the thesis: “Navigating the Crisis and Negotiating Mobility: Trajectories of Highly Educated Southern European Youth in Uncertainty”. This thesis explored the meaning-making processes accompanying mobility of young people from Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Croatia during the uncertain times of crisis and austerity on the EU’s periphery.
He also holds an MA in European Studies: Transnational and Global Perspectives (2016-2016) from the University of Leuven where he started delving into the interrelationships between recent international migration flows across the Balkan route and Croatians’ memories of the 1990s war.
Working Title: “Chronicity of Crisis and Negotiation of Marginality: Victimhood, Belonging and the Migrant/non-Migrant divide in Zagreb”
During the summer 2015, migrants moving along the Balkan route started to cross Croatian borders which were (re)created in the context of the 1990s war that itself displaced many Croats and resulted in the increased importance of national identity. The collective memories of the 1990s Homeland War in Croatia have been at the forefront of making sense of the migration both in terms of solidarity and xenophobia towards the migrants. Albeit the state’s migration policy has remained restrictive mirroring other EU member states, the increasing presence of new non-EU migrants in publics and discourses has attracted a lot of attention. This ‘crisis’ has once again placed the people living on the “margins of Europe” at the centre of the western gaze simultaneously as their marginality is (re)produced by the ongoing economic crisis unravelling throughout the EU’s periphery.
In the places experiencing rapid social changes such as contemporary Croatia ‒ where we can observe the conjunction of the dissolution of communism, war, postsocialist transition, economic crisis, and migration ‒ crisis can become socially and experientially ‘chronic’. The lived experience of the crisis becomes part and parcel of the processes of social reproduction. Thereupon, through intergenerational transmission of memories and circulation of imaginaries, the (re)construction of group boundaries occurs in the context of uncertainty, vulnerability, and unpredictability.
The research will attempt to answer the following: what can the ways in which the chronicity of the crisis is experienced by the ordinary people living in Croatian neighbourhoods affected by migration reveal about how they negotiate their marginality in Europe after the accession to the EU? This question proposes three subquestions. First, how are the present social changes in Croatia ‒ related to the economic crisis and migration ‒ moulded by the Croatian's memories and imaginaries of the past crises in the region ‒ most notably the 1990s war and postsocialist transition? Second, what can this assemblage of temporalities reveal about people’s identity-making processes in the margins of Europe? And third, how is the ‘migrant/non-migrant’ categorical divide a site where these processes are played out, reflected, and (re)produced in everyday life?
- International “Border Crossings” Student Conference 21-24 April 2016, University of Zagreb, Croatia: “Ethnographies of (un)certainty, (in)equality, and hope(lesness): Challenges and Possibilities for Anthropology Today”. Presented the paper “Navigating the Crisis and Negotiating Mobility: Trajectories of Highly Educated Southern European Youth in Uncertainty”.
September 5, 2016
Page editor: Lina Lorentz
Source: Department of Social Anthropology