The Left-Behind in Bulgaria

Author: admin Page 1 of 3

Dr. Yelis Erolova participated in three scientific conferences in October 2023

In October, Dr. Yelis Erolova presented the results of her research on separated Roma
families within the project in three different scientific forums.

Between October 3 and 6, she participated in an international conference of the Gypsy
Lore Society in São Paulo, Brazil with a paper entitled ‘The Impact of Migration on Quality
of Life: the Case Study of Roma Families Left-behind in Northeastern Bulgaria’. She focused
on the positive changes in the lifestyle of the left-behind separated Roma families in several
settlements in Bulgaria due to the increased incomes of Roma emigrants.

Between 19 and 20 October Dr. Erolova attended a scientific conference scientific
conference ‘East-West: Religions, Centres and Peripheries’, organized by the Institute for
Historical Studies at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and the Center for Religious Studies
at the Sofia University ‘St. Kliment Ohridski’. In her presentation, entitled ‘Religion, Mutual
Aid and Donations between Roma Emigrants Abroad and the Rest of Their Relatives’, she
drew attention to remittances and donations of Roma emigrants in Bulgaria that led to
overcoming the ‘peripherality’ and ‘marginality’ of Roma neighborhoods.

Dr. Erolova’s next participation was in the conference ‘Readings in Memory of Prof.
DSc. Tsvetana Georgieva: History and Anthropology’, organized by ‘St. Kliment Ohridski’
from 26 to 28 October in Sofia. In her paper, named ‘Roma emigrants through the eyes of
their relatives left-behind in Bulgaria’, she discussed the adaptation experience of Roma
emigrants, the improvement of their living standards and the increase of their civic self-
esteem, as well as the different forms of their charity through the stories of their relatives left-
behind in Bulgaria.

Fieldwork in Dolni Chiflik Town and the Region

In July-August 2023, Magdalena Slavkova conducted fieldwork in the town of Dolni Chiflik, the village of Staro Oryahovo and the village of Trastikovo, Varna region. She did in-depth interviews with three men and five women. Five of the interviewees are from the group of Romanian-speaking Rudari (Kopanari), one man is from the Romani group of Burgudzhii, and two of the interviews were conducted with Bulgarian women. Most interlocutors, who are Orthodox Christians and evangelical Methodist Christians, live in Bulgaria, three of them are returned migrants, and one woman lives with her family in Romania. During the interviews, questions were asked about the way of life of the “left-behind” in Bulgaria, their social and economic situation, how they perceive emigrants, what is their opinion about life abroad and how they communicate with their relatives abroad.

Fieldwork in Ruse

In July 2023, Plamena Stoyanova , PhD conducted a field study in the city of Ruse, focusing on families with multiple emigrants. The study was specifically centered around interviews with grown-up children and emigrated parents. During the interviews, it was noted that those who had not emigrated were firm in their decision to stay in the country, while the emigrated individuals had made a final decision not to return.

Interviews in Plovdiv

In mid-July 2023, Plamena Stoyanova, PhD also conducted a study in Plovdiv. Originally intended to focus on parents of emigrants living in nursing homes, the study yielded more interesting results among the remaining children of emigrated parents. Several conversations with siblings who have family members living abroad were equally intriguing.

Migration Dynamics – a Focus of a Fieldwork

In late June 2023, Plamena Stoyanova, PhD conducted a field study in Yambol. The study focused on interviews with immigrant families who returned to Bulgaria while another family member emigrated. These interviews helped trace the dynamics of changing roles between those who returned and those who stayed. The study highlights an essential aspect of the research as many families in Bulgaria have multiple family members who emigrated, and not all of them leave for good. To get a more accurate picture of these relationships, interviews were conducted with multiple family members.

International Forum Participation for Magdalena Slavkova

Magdalena Slavkova, a member of the project team, took part in the 16th Congress of SIEF (International Society for Ethnology and Folklore), which was held in the city of Brno, Czech Republic, from June 7 to 10, 2023 under subtitle “Living Uncertainty” (program is available at: https://doi.org/10.22582/SIEF2023prg). The congress was held under the auspices of the Minister of Culture of the Czech Republic, the President of the Academy of Sciences and the Rector of the Masaryk University in Brno. Magdalena Slavkova presented a paper on the topic “Fieldwork strategy among the Romani left-behind children in Bulgaria” in the panel, which explored scientific problems related to the uncertain temporalities of children and youth with a migrant background. She received questions about the specifics and ethics of fieldwork in research on Romani children.

5th International Conference Between the Worlds of Old and New Homes

The Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies with Ethnographic Museum at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

and

the team of the research project ‘Still in Bulgaria. Cultural and Social Effects of Labour Mobility and Migration on Bulgarian Society (1990-2019) (LEFT-BEHIND)”, funded by the Bulgarian National Science Fund (BNSF) (№ КП-06-Н40/9 – 10.12.2019)’ (2019–2024)

have the pleasure to invite you to

5th International Conference ‘Between the Worlds of Old and New Homes’

May 29 – 31, 2023
Sofia, Bulgaria
(Conference language – English)

Detailed Programme: HERE

Book of Abstracts: HERE

According to the 2022 World Migration Report, 3.6% of the global population consists of migrants, while the rest still live in their countries of origin. Despite that percentage, in the last, almost a decade, and in particular in the past three years – during the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing war in Ukraine, the topics related to migrants, refugees, migrations, and mobilities are linked to high disinformation and are part of the politics of fear and division employed by some political leaders. The negative social impact brought up by that politicized discourse affects societal values and supports nationalist narratives and stereotypisation related to the newcomers in almost every country, adding up to the ongoing economic, political, and myriad other difficulties experienced globally. On the other hand, the estimated number of international migrants has increased over the past five decades, and the shift from migration to mobility is now even more visible than prior to COVID-19. The lengthy restriction period on freedom of movement within cities, countries, and internationally called for an academic and research-shaped response to further conceptualisation and discussion on these topics. Climate change gradually becomes one of the main reasons for disaster displacement resulting in new devastating movements of vulnerable people. And finally, migrants rarely move with their whole families, often choosing to leave them behind. The impact of movements on sending communities and the left behind, the separated and transnational families, has been an essential and growingly topical issue in the post-global world. Living in uncertain times with emerging global crises, we continue our search for better livelihoods and stable homes, more advanced studies and education, or, in other words, reinvention, rebuilding, or advancement of ourselves, our families, and our lives.

The Conference is funded by National Science Fund – Ministry of Education and Science (№ КН-06-Н40/9 – 10.12.2019 г).

For more information about the conference sequence: https://conferenceworlds.wordpress.com/

Call for Papers: 5th International Conference ‘Between the Worlds of Old and New Homes’

Call for Papers

5th International Conference

Between the Worlds of Old and New Homes

THE INSTITUTE OF ETHNOLOGY AND FOLKLORE STUDIES WITH ETHNOGRAPHIC MUSEUM, BULGARIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCE,

 ‘BETWEEN THE WORLDS’ CONFERENCE TEAM

 

Call for papers PDF is available here: LINK

The Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies with Ethnographic Museum at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences has the pleasure to invite you to the international conference ‘Between the Worlds of Old and New Homes’, that will take place on May 29 – 31, 2023 in Sofia, Bulgaria. The forum is organised under the research project ‘Still in Bulgaria. Cultural and Social Effects of Labour Mobility and Migration on Bulgarian Society (1990-2019) (LEFT-BEHIND)”, funded by the Bulgarian National Science Fund (BNSF) (№ КП-06-Н40/9 – 10.12.2019)’ (2019–2024), implemented by IEFSEM – BAS.

According to the 2022 World Migration Report, 3.6% of the global population consists of migrants, while the rest still live in their countries of origin. Despite that percentage, in the last, almost a decade, and in particular in the past three years – during the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing war in Ukraine, the topics related to migrants, refugees, migrations, and mobilities are linked to high disinformation and are part of the politics of fear and division employed by some political leaders. The negative social impact brought up by that politicized discourse affects societal values and supports nationalist narratives and stereotypisation related to the newcomers in almost every country, adding up to the ongoing economic, political, and myriad other difficulties experienced globally.

On the other hand, the estimated number of international migrants has increased over the past five decades, and the shift from migration to mobility is now even more visible than prior to COVID-19. The lengthy restriction period on freedom of movement within cities, countries, and internationally called for an academic and research-shaped response to further conceptualisation and discussion on these topics.

Climate change gradually becomes one of the main reasons for disaster displacement resulting in new devastating movements of vulnerable people.

And finally, migrants rarely move with their whole families, often choosing to leave them behind. The impact of movements on sending communities and the left behind, the separated and transnational families, has been an essential and growingly topical issue in the post-global world.

Living in uncertain times with emerging global crises, we continue our search for better livelihoods and stable homes, more advanced studies and education, or, in other words, reinvention, rebuilding, or advancement of ourselves, our families, and our lives. Therefore, we invite you to an academic discussion on the silenced and encouraged migrations and muted and supported mobility aspirations and all their effects on the receiving and sending societies. The representatives of NGOs are also welcome.

The topics related to that we aspire to represent are concerning, but not limited to:

  • Theoretical standpoints on crisis and post-crisis.
  • Migration vs mobility – different generations, various aspirations, or different worlds we live in.
  • Politics and policies of (im)mobilities.
  • Refugees – media images, current obstacles in the politics, policies, and among receiving societies.
  • War and displacements.
  • Traumas and memory.
  • New and old homes – adaptation, marginalization, and emotions.
  • COVID-19 and changes in strategies and models.
  • Disrupted mobilities and migrations – before and after (global) crises.
  • Challenges of the post-pandemic world for research methodology – beyond face-to-face or not.
  • The left-behind – cultural and social effects of migrations on home societies.
  • The left-behind – psychological and health problems of children, parents, and relatives of migrants.
  • Multilocal living and globalization models.
  • Environmental disasters and mobility – risks, climate change, and movements.

The working language of the conference is English.

All interested authors should send an abstract (between 200 – 250 words) along with a proposed title, five keywords, the author’s full name, e-mail, institutional and disciplinary affiliation, and a short biography should be sent by March 1, 2023, to the following email: theleftbehindbg@gmail.com

Participants will be informed about the outcome of the Organising Committee selection process no later than March 20, 2023.

Following the pattern established during our previous conference of the ʽBetween the Worldsʼ Series initiative, selected authors will be invited to submit their manuscripts until August 31, 2023, for publication. After double-blind peer-reviewing, these will be published in an open-access e-collection at the website of the conference: https://conferenceworlds.wordpress.com/publications/

Please note that, while there is no participation fee, the Organizing Committee does not cover travel and accommodation. Selected participants are expected to cover their expenses. We advise future participants to search for potential financial support from their respective institutions, academic exchange programs, etc.

We are foreseeing the possibility to organise the conference in a limited hybrid form (with the prospect to arrange some of the panels both online and offline). We ask you to include your possible choice in the email containing your conference abstract.

We are looking forward to receiving your proposals!

Organising Committee of BEW2023:
Assoc. Prof. PhD. Mila Maeva
Assist. Prof. PhD. Mina Hristova
Assist. Prof. PhD. Behrin Shopova
PhD Student Julia Popcheva

For more information visit also:

https://conferenceworlds.wordpress.com/

Panel “At the Intersection of Cultures: Migrants and the Left-Behind Family Members”

On November 18th – 21st, 2021 the “Left Behind in Bulgaria” project was presented by the team members at the 53rd Annual ASEEES (Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies) Convention. The research contributions done on the topic so far were presented in the panel “At the Intersection of Cultures: Migrants and the Left-Behind Family Members” on November 19th. Our presentations were delivered both in-person from New Orleans, LA, USA, and online from Sofia, Bulgaria. The multifaceted topics of the paper offered the audience preliminary analysis on the fieldwork done among children of migrant parents, spouses and parents of migrants, media representations and stereotypes among the Bulgarian society on foreign-educated young people.

Panel moderator was Accos. Prof. Mila Maeva, PhD – also the project leader. Discussant was Prof. Elena Marushiakova, PhD from Saint Andrews University, Scotland and IEFSEM – BAS, Bulgaria.

In the context of a globalized world, intensified migration and mobility, and the modern processes of enlightened citizenship, the scientific interest is more concentrated towards the migrant experiences in the destination countries than to their families and communities left-behind in the countries of origin. Our panel which deals with the economic, cultural and social changes which are brought under the influence of the migrants in the home societies / communities.

Assist. Prof. Magdalena Slavkova, PhD, presented her topic ‘Paternal migration and the Gypsy/Roma children in school age’. The paper focused on the impact of parents’ migration on the school experiences of Gypsy/Roma children in Bulgaria and their well-being. For many kids whose father and mother are working in European countries such as Spain, Greece, Germany, or the UK, “home” meant the absence of parents and missing supervision relationships between parents and children. These kids usually stayed behind in the care of close relatives: grandparents or older siblings. This paper was based on ethnographic field research among different Gypsy families. Particularly, the text presented the specific case of Romanian-speaking Rudari, whose model of migration had differed, more or less from that of the other Gypsy groups and that of the Bulgarian population.

In their paper „Spouses Left-behind – Gender Migration Impact upon Separated Families“ Julia Popcheva and Assist. Prof. Behrin Shopova unified fieldwork results in order to reveal the impact of labor migration and mobilities upon separated families and local communities with a focus on social and cultural changes. The comparative study took place in Northwestern Bulgaria where mostly women leave the country and Southwestern Bulgaria – with predominant male migration. The analyses from gender, generational and confessional perspective provided understanding of different economic, social and cultural strategies of Bulgarian families and their sustainability in a dynamic life of constant mobility.

Assist. Prof. Mina Hristova, PhD presented her paper titled “The left-behind: Media Representations, Stereotypes, and Images”. Her research focus was establishing the parallel between the social and media constructed image of the “common people” and the “bearers of political change” Bulgarian migrants. Her paper was based on quantitative data gathered in the context of the Left-behind project and a national representative one carried out by Trend research agency. The main thesis established that while the “common people’s” image is pluralistically constructed in the media, those of the “bearers of political change” was highly positive and even capable to bring accelerated change in the social attitudes and in the political environment in the country.

Assist. Prof. Plamena Stoyanova, PhD presented her paper ‘The impact of migration on the seniors left-behind in Bulgaria’. The study analysed the fate of families whose children left Bulgaria after the political changes in 1989. The report focused on the effect of the absence of the now grown-up children on the parents. It addressed the question of how this affects family life, financial stability and the psychological comfort of the adults. Relationships within the family, between immigrants and their parents, as well as the dynamics between children who have left the country and their siblings remaining in Bulgaria, was also a topic in the study.

 

A Paper about Childcare Mobility

Julia Popcheva presented the paper “When Grandmother is Babysitting: Childcare Mobility of Middle-aged and Senior Women“ at the V-th International Conference of Multilocality “Territorialities of Multilocality” that took place in Sofia, Bulgaria on Nov 25-26, 2021. The study revealed the sustainable tradition of grandmothers’ active inclusion in childcare process and its adaptation to the different migration models of separated families. It presented the strategies of middle-aged and senior women in relation to childcare mobility and explored the multilocal lifestyle of ‘Mobile Grandma’ who was ready to live no matter the place, travel no matter the distance, but to be present where appreciated and called out. Different mobility patterns towards Bulgaria and out, reasons for constant returns back ‘home’, and models of (dis)adaptation have been discussed. It was notable that grandmother – grandchildren relations appeared to be equally intensive not only in the case when children lived abroad and the grandmothers were in Bulgaria, but also when middle-aged women were in migration and their grandchildren remained left-behind.

The survey has been conducted during the period 2019 – 2021 both in Bulgaria and abroad (particularly in Italy, Spain and France), relying on classic and virtual methods of ethnography.

Page 1 of 3

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén