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Author: JP O'Malley

Bosnia and Herzegovina has been misunderstood for too long

Bosnia and Herzegovina's ambition to join the European Union faces a complex reality despite optimistic declarations from Brussels. The author and political scientist Jasmin Mujanović believes that the deeply entrenched ethnic and political divisions within Bosnia and Herzegovina are too often overlooked by the West. His latest book The Bosniaks: Nationhood after Genocide, gives greater insight into this complex history.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is keen to join the European Union. In Brussels the feeling is mutual. “Your place is in our European family,” said EU Council President Charles Michel on Twitter/X late last March. The post was much ado about nothing, though, warns Jasmin Mujanović. “Banal sloganeering about EU membership is completely divorced from the political realities of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” the political scientist writes in The Bosniaks: Nationhood After Genocide.

June 22, 2024 - JP O'Malley

Through Lendvai’s eyes. A unique perspective on Austrian politics

A review of Austria Behind the Mask. Politics of a Nation since 1945. By: Paul Lendvai. Publisher: Hurst, London, 2023.

February 7, 2024 - JP O'Malley

A forgotten tale of violence from Romania’s recent past

The story of violent clashes that broke out in Sibiu in Romania during late December 1989 is one that many have forgotten since the revolution and regime change. Tudor Giurgiu’s latest film Libertate revisits that turbulent event in Romania. The film not only acts as a reminder of the ruthless terror and chaos of the time but also as a chance for Romanians to reassess their own history.

When Nicolae Ceaușescu's brutal regime collapsed in Romania 34 years ago, Tudor Giurgiu was 18 years old, living in his home city of Cluj-Napoca, in central Transylvania. “For many days and weeks, the country was directionless,” the 51-year-old Romanian film director explains from central Sarajevo, Bosnia, where he is showcasing his latest film Libertate. “People were not talking normally, they were going nuts and there was a lot of shouting, paranoia, and violence.”

November 16, 2023 - JP O'Malley

Siberia is a feeling to me

A conversation with Sophy Roberts, a writer, journalist and author of The Lost Pianos of Siberia. Interviewer: JP O' Malley

JP O' MALLEY: What brought you to Siberia and why did you write this book?

SOPHY ROBERTS: I spent a lot of time in Mongolia where I formed a friendship with a pianist. When you spend time in a place like Mongolia, certain things start to resonate differently. You see that there are less boundaries, for instance, than there are in Western Europe. Especially when it comes to [physical] space. In Siberia, just across the border from Mongolia, I saw an extension of that feeling. You feel like you are stepping back into a world before we became such a dominant species. As a traveller with a curious eye, that appealed to me. I find it compelling spiritually. Siberia as a place has always carried a certain kind of romance to it. I still remember looking at a map of it when I was a child and thinking about how big it was but not knowing what lay within it. I'm also a bit of a loner, so those environments are places I'm drawn to.

July 7, 2020 - JP O'Malley Sophy Roberts

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