SELMA POROBIC /// Forcefully Displaced Bodies in Bosnia: From the 1992-95 War to Contemporary Fortress Europe


This conversation is the first one of an Archipelago series in the Western Balkans. Recorded in Sarajevo with Selma Porobić, it introduces the historical context of the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the ethnic cleansing of the Bosniak population by the Serbian militias, and the 2 millions displaced people inside and outside the country. Twenty years after the Dayton Peace Agreements, many refugees have not yet returned, often because of local and regional strategies discouraging if not preventing this return. The second part of the conversation addresses the geographical position of the Western Balkans, at the gates of “Fortress Europe,” where many migrants and refugees from various places in the world (Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, etc.) attempt to enter the territory. We discuss of the European policies regarded these other forcefully displaced bodies and the means it implemented to have countries such as Bosnia and Herzegovina accomplish its “dirty work.”

Selma Porobic is a Director of the Centre for refugee and IDP studies, established by UNHCR in 2011 at the Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Sarajevo. She holds a PhD degree in migration studies from Lund University in Sweden and has interdisciplinary background in the migration studies field, obtained from Lund University, Sweden, American University in Cairo and Fordham University, New York. In 2006 she was a Visiting fellow at Refugee Studies Centre, Oxford University, UK. She has also produced two books on the subject of resilience of  (re)settled Bosnian refugees (‘Resilience and Religion in a Forced Migration Context’, 2012, and a forthcoming book ‘At the East of Hope – Refugee Resilience Stories’ for Forced Migration Series, Berghahn Books, Oxford, 2015-2016). Her current research interests include war and peace building research, humanitarian right and human rights, psych-social work with civilian victims of war, return migration and reintegration of returning migrants to post-conflict areas, and rights and needs of asylum seekers and transit migrants in the Western Balkans region.




  • “Collecting Migrant Experiences at the Walls of the European Union,” with Lucie Bacon (June 2015)