Since its beginning as a daring experiment in economic collaboration, the European Union has grown into a sprawling, cross-continent merger, transforming daily life for millions of people.
But what about those who remain outside the new Europe – citizens of the Balkans, for example? What do they think about the EU? And how do they think their lives will change once their countries gain admittance to this exclusive club?
It’s a question, oddly, that politicians rarely ask. But a pair of Canadian artists did. Cindy Blaževic´ (BA 1999 TRIN) and Pascal Paquette, a former U of T staff member, spent a summer travelling the Balkans interviewing and photographing residents.
They, along with 13 other artists, have created a kind of emotional map of the region – through text, photos, audio and video at www.theculturelobby.com – that conveys the hopes and fears of regular folk as their countries prepare for accession.
The people shown here, from southern Serbia, blamed former leader Slobodan Miloševic´ for making their country a pariah. “[He] ruined us,” they said. And what do they want from EU membership? “Better government.”