It just came to me that I posted my first text here without properly introducing myself beforehand, so let’s remedy that
The name which is visible in my passport is actually Vladica, but I joined the community under this handle because I use it across different networks and it’s been my nickname for 15 years.
I am a 29 year old (almost turning 30) social entrepreneur, based in Belgrade, Serbia. I studied journalism and communications, and have been a grassroots activist since I was 20, mostly in corruption in health and electoral reform campaigns. During my university years I was active in debating and co-organized European University Debating Championship in 2012. Even though I love debating, I love storytelling more - mostly because I have witnessed so many times the impact of a good story combined with facts, which usually is lacking if you are just trying to make fact-based point.
Things I care about are civil society and how it can impact change, making civil society and (social) entrepreneurs more sustainable, more impactful and more visible, and I am active in different women and gender initiatives and climate and zero waste actions. And also, I am queer, so often find myself explaining a lot of stuff about what that means and how it’s different than other LGBTQ identities and orientations.
I have a habit of buying flowers both for myself and for my friends, I read and watch a lot of fiction (sometimes when washing the dishes and cooking) and my favourite activity is coaching - be it students, civil or business executives or organizations as collective entities.
My interest in wellbeing comes from trying to find one framework to help me understand better my life and those of my friends and family and I am looking forward to many discussions here.
If you want to see more of a CV-like info on me, check out my Linkedin: Vladica Jovanovic - Western Balkans Programme Advisor - PeaceNexus Foundation | LinkedIn
And if you wanna ask me anything - just shoot
I am in awe that you like us and choose to write in English (truth be told, it’s easier to interact with the rest until more Serbians join!) and are interested to contribute, and I like your writing style!
Well received, your bio and cv.
I’d wish you happy browsing and please bear with us for a while. We are restructuring the team a little and we’ll be looking for people to help mobilize local communities in and across Serbia, or join us on tour as we will scout for more stories. Would be happy to talk to you and explain personally, in the near future. Natalia must have mentioned more to you anyway.
Do you know of any other people whose life, work and experiences make for relevant stories of contemporary Serbia and its politics? I read about these students squatting an old cinema:
Also about the MKM independent cultural center, Kulturni Centar Grad KC GRAD – //CULTURAL CENTER GRAD, and Centar za kulturnu dekontaminaciju https://www.czkd.org/.
Most of these are lefties, which means there’s a lot of alignment in values with a bunch of edgeryders here, but it would be good to get in touch with people who embody more of a general population experience… to understand how behaviors are driven, what ticks for people from across the spectrum.
Just some thoughts out loud,…
hey @wlayche - so interesting to read your story from this very personal angle. I can relate to a lot!
First of all, how is the LGBT scene in Serbia? I have never been to your country (even if I worked and lived in Slovenia, and I collaborated with Serbians when I was curating a museum in Indonesia, which I filled with instruments from your country as well :)) ).
Where I come from (small town, southeast Poland) and I studied (bigger city, eastern Poland, somewhat second-tier university town) - there’s still little openness to these topics. Which is partly why I left my country a decade ago - I started moving for shorter periods, then I realized there’s no coming back. I am also queer and non-monogamous (polyamorous - since 5 years active and aware of it:)) - but exploring these things in my city and circles seemed so uncomfortable and difficult. I admire people who stay in Eastern European countries and are not afraid of being themselves there. I took the easier route - but in a way, I have a feeling this was the only route for me to discover new ways of being happy with others.
Sometimes I think if some of my lonely friends in Poland had a chance to flip the way they think about relationships, sex, pleasure, connecting with other humans, they would be much less lonely. But I can be a bit preachy about these things
Great to have you here!