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Archival sources, Migration and Multidisciplinary research: an interview with Tatjana Šarić for the Croatian State Archives, one of WEMov’s stakeholders

     Archival sources, Migration and Multidisciplinary research:

    an interview with Tatjana Šarić for the Croatian State Archives, one of WEMov’s stakeholders

    Interview by Camelia Zavarache

    Tatjana Šarić is a historian, a senior researcher and an archivist at the Croatian State Archives. The institution she represents hosts a variety of collections on migration and is a staple mark in archival preservation with a long tradition, dating back to the seventeenth century. 

    Camelia: Welcome Tatjana, and thank you so much for accepting our invitation for the interview and for taking the timeto answer our questions.

    Tatjana: Thank you for inviting me!

    Camelia: On your LinkedIn page one can read that you are a senior research associate and senior archivist at the Croatian State Archives. We would like to know more about your work as a specialist of organizing and managing archival collections and of working with the data provided by written documents. Could you tell us more about your background, your studies and also the reason why you decided to work in archival studies?

    Tatjana: So, ok, how did I come to work at the Croatian State Archives at archival studies? Firstly, I graduated a degree in history of Czech language and literature and then continued with my Master’s degree in 2008 and then a PhD in 2011 on topics related to twentieth century Croatian history. So, why did I decide to come to the archives and work here? Well, one of the reasons is that I think history and historical documents – that is primary sources – are very closely connected, so I think one cannot be a proper historian without using archival records and the thought that I could be working with these records and have access to them on a daily basis was very appealing to me. Having this possibility indeed is a real privilege because there is a big difference between just coming to the reading room and ordering one box of records and browsing through the shelves yourself and through storage rooms and picking up the box and reading the documents within, you know? And of course, when I started working at the Croatian State Archives, I quickly learnt about all the other aspects of archival science besides archival arrangement; it is a core business but there are so many other tasks which the Croatian State Archives performs, which are also very, very important and interesting.    

    Camelia: In a way you are privileged because you are a researcher but also on the other side of the line, in the sense that you deal with and make decisions about the documents you actually use. 

    Tatjana: Yes, that is two in one. 

    Camelia: Yes, exactly. So the next question is what are the main tasks a senior research archivist is responsible for? 

    Tatjana: So, there could be various tasks, it depends on the position and the department one is working in, because we have different departments within the Croatian State Archives, as well as the different sides and aspects to the archival service. As for me, I have worked on many different ones, from this core business in arranging and describing archival fonds and collections according to the archival norms, of course, to leading projects. For example, I was coordinating the project of marking the centennial of World War I when we had various tasks within this project. For example, we published a book guide on fonds and collections on World War I, we created a website which I was editor in chief, we had exhibitions, and so on. So, what other tasks are there? One could be working in different departments, as I said, for a while, I was head of the Reference service at the Croatian State Archives, that means working with users, with researchers, people who came to the archives searching for the records and we of course, tried to help them find what they were looking for. And this is also a very rewarding position because working with people can be difficult, but is also rewarding when you help someone, you know? So, this is of course one point. I also worked in digitization of documentations and currently I work at the Research institute “Ivan Kukuljević Sakcinski” of the Croatian State Archives. That is the scientific and research jobs. In this department, we focus on research, on scientific evaluation and publication of archival records and we also publish scientific papers in archival science, history, restoration, conservation, organize conferences and participate in conferences. We also manage the complete publishing of the CSA – books in historiography or archival science, publishing archival documents and our archival journals. I am also editor in chief of the journal called Fontes – Sources for Croatian History where we publish primary sources. So, these are just a couple of things one can do as a senior archivist and a researcher.

    Camelia: Yes, thank you! It is really interesting what you are doing, you cover both the technical part of what an archivist is doing and also the research and the conferences. So, moving on to the next question. Being a senior researcher and a senior archivist has allowed you to have a broader perspective on the process of generating an archive and the need for it to be organized and properly preserved. From your experience, what kind of barriers and difficulties are typical when working in record preservation and management? 

    Tatjana: Well, this is also a very wide field of challenges, so to say, so you should always start from the beginning and the essential tasks of the archives which is the acquisition of documentation from the creators and owners, then the preservation of archival records, their archival arrangement and description and also of course, making them available for users. So, the communication with the creators as well as educating them is crucial because the records they keep will one day be handed over to the Croatian State Archives. So, as for the arrangement of records, we have more challenges here because of the large quantities of fonds and collections that the Croatian State Archives acquires and stores, which happens on official duty. That is prescribed by the Law on archival records and archives, so we need more people to process that. That is why there is sometimes a discrepancy between the usersʼ wishes and ability to access specific records because of, on the one hand, shortages of personnel. 

    The second thing we can talk about is the digitization of archival records for which the first prerequisite is that records have been arranged and described. Only records with the necessary metadata can be put on-line and thus available to users, otherwise it can be just a mess. So, it is really, really important. This then raises the issue of human resources as well as financing because such procedures are usually expensive. Of course, to put the records on-line it is also necessary to have some information system on the websites of the individual archives or perhaps within the framework of a joint informational system at the state level, which we are doing here in Croatia. So, these are some of the issues I wanted to mention now, but of course these challenges could be elaborated in more detail as well as some other topics, but I donʼt think we have so much space and time.           

    Camelia: So, I will move on with the next question, because they are connected and maybe I will have a follow up question regarding them afterwards.  

    Tatjana: Ok. 

    Camelia: Is the law on archival records in Croatia being respected and do institutions who generate archives comply with the recommendations specialists make for a better appraisal and curatorial purposes?  

    Tatjana: Well, I would say that the Law on archival records and archives is from 2018, so we have this relatively new law that is respected in most cases, but there are always exceptions. For example, there are cases when archival records could not be stored properly so they were lost, damaged or even destroyed due to neglect. But archivists from the CSA, as a parent and umbrella organization of the archive service in Croatia, always make recommendations on preserving documents, most creators do respect them and try to enhance the conditions of records’ preservation or also they make more effort in arranging and describing the records. And also sometimes my colleagues from the Croatian State Archives physically help in arranging the archival records or collections so they are more systematically organized, so when we acquire them by the legal regulation, they are in a much better state than they would have been had they not been helped.

    Camelia: I see, thank you! The reason I sort of insisted on this is because we have similar issues in the sense that because the National Archives do not have the space to properly store archives, for instance, from Ministries, different representatives from the archives actually inspect them and make suggestions and help. But still the ministries do not have the space to make the archives available for the public, and that is the real issue for us, here in Romania. Because they have to keep their own archives, however they do not have the space, they do not have a specialist that could guide you when you go there and ask for different collections. So, I am happy to hear that in Croatia it is better, from this point of view.

    Tatjana: Yes, it is better although we also have storage rooms and capacities that are not at the same address as the central archives are, because we have also so many kilometres of records and of course they cannot fit in one building. But we are working on that, there are new capacities for keeping the records in an environment and rooms they need to be stored, in the right conditions for preservation. 

    Camelia: Exactly, I think that is the challenge for each institution.

    Tatjana: Yes, it is.

    Camelia: So, thank you, we will go on. Do women in general and migrant women in particular stand out in the archives?

    Tatjana: Well, unfortunately I have to say no, because womenʼs history, as I see it in my experience as a researcher and as an archivist, is hidden. So, a researcher needs to find the ways to track the documents on womenʼs migration flows and there are fundamentally among papers on general migration. So, I have to say that in the Croatian State Archives we donʼt have fonds and collections that concern migrant women only, because the creators of documents, that means the institutions which produced these documents, did not organize them in that way. So, one needs to know which creator is in charge, so to speak, for which topic or particular period of time, you know? So, the researcher has to track them and to find the documents in that way. So I would say it takes time and it takes effort to find those documents and therefore they are valuable when we do find them. Because, as I said, womenʼs history is hidden, they were not so explicitly exposed as men were, which was conditioned by their status in the society. Women were in most cases non-educated, at least here in Croatia, so there are more issues regarding them, thatʼs why we donʼt have womenʼs fonds, womenʼs collections, and tracking the documents is a challenge.

    Camelia: Thank you, I agree, I think we have a similar situation here in Romania as well, there isnʼt an institution that would follow only Romanian women, you need to search in each collection to be able to find the documents.    

    Tatjana: Yes, that is right.

    Camelia: From your experience what would be the best way to better showcase migrant female perspectives and mobility considering the limitations the national states archives in Europe have in terms of the lack of space, limited budget and lack of cooperation displayed by archive generators?

    Tatjana: Well, I think maybe virtual reality would be the best answer for that. I think maybe we could use the existing international portals, you know, like the Europeana or the Archives Portal Europe, perhaps a collection of digitized documents on migrant women could be formed on those platforms and in that way it could be more accessible to the public and thus more visible. So, awareness of this issue could also be raised and the public could be sensitized to the topic of women migrants. Furthermore, I think we should use other ways of dissemination of information on migrant women and their movement as well as various forms of collaboration with other institutions that is with other heritage institutions like museums or libraries, but also with competent state institutions, universities, different societies andassociations dealing with emigration or gender studies. And also with private collectors. So, dissemination of information on women and migration can be performed also through posts on official webpages of the institutions involved, through social networks, through newspapers, magazines, television, Youtube, you know, all kinds of resources that are available in this present time so this issue might be raised and be more visible to the public, who may not be aware of that.

    Camelia: Yes, thank you, I think you are perfectly right, I was thinking about the exhibitions that the National Archives here in Romania have had over the years, and theyʼve had the Centennial of World War I, the Communist era, medieval documents, but I do not remember of a focus on ordinary women in general, not necessarily migrant women. I think that making them aware of this topic that needs to be addressed is also important. So, thank you! I will start the second section of the interview.

    Tatjana: Ok.

    Camelia: We would like to know more about your work at the Croatian State Archives which is also one of our WEMov stakeholders. Could you tell us more about how you started working there?

    Tatjana: So, I started working at the Croatian State Archives way back, in 2000 (laughs), so I have been working here for 23 years, and as I said, I already mentioned something about what I do here, about my responsibilities and my tasks during all these years. About Women on the Move, actually a colleague of mine, here at the archives heard about this COST Action and he suggested I should join. And that is why I got in touch with you, with Marie and Joana who was then Working Group 1 leader and I thought it was a great idea and that I could contribute to this section, and I have to say that the director of the Croatian State Archives, Dr. Dinko Čutura was very interested in the idea and very supportive of this collaboration, as he recognized the importance of the network. So, that is how the Croatian State Archives became a stakeholder to this Action and I must say that I am very privileged and happy to be a part of this team and that I can contribute to our objectives in this Action. 

    Camelia: Absolutely, thank you for the kind words. I was just curious, I mean you could have worked anywhere, teaching, in a research institute, well you are also a researcher, but still, why the archives? Did you go there as a student, did something make you want to pursue that in particular?

    Tatjana: Yes, as I said, I think in the response to your first question it was primary documents, the old papers, because very often, for a long time I was doing basic jobs in the Croatian State Archives, that means archival organizing and description of the documents and in that way you are in touch with documents everyday all day, you know, and you see what value they poses and many, many of them have never been read before because some of the fonds and collections have never been used and it is such a thrill to know that you have in your hands a document that the last time somebody had it in his hands was like 60 or 70 years ago, you know? And you can read it, and you can write something about it, you can produce some scientific paper about it, and you can have a presentation about it at conferences. So yes, it is a challenge but it really is an opportunity not many people have. Because I think that not many people are aware of the archives and their importance for researching history, you cannot do it without them, this was what has drawn me towards the archives. Of course, I did teach for a while, but this is something completely different.

    Camelia: I agree, yes the thrill of seeing the document, obviously you have access to the document before other people, but when I have a file that no one has seen before, because I am the first one to sign the users’ sheet, it is such a thrill. So, I can only image what it is like for you when you worked with unregistered documents.

    Tatjana: Yes.

    Camelia: So, I think weʼve touched a bit on the next question, but I will read it any way, maybe you have something else to add.

    Tatjana: Ok.

    Camelia: Has being a historian and a researcher made you more aware of the paramount importance of preserving and making archives available to the research community?

    Tatjana: Yes, yes, definitely. As I said, archives are so important and not enough people, even researchers and historians are aware of that. And I always said when I worked as the head of the Reference service, when I saw that not so many historians were sitting in the reading room and using these documents. Many people just like to use literature, but that is not enough, no. So, I think unfortunately archives still need to be recognized as mandatory places for a research and you know, there are endless documents that have never been read. I think archives really are treasures of information and knowledge and should be recognized as such, so I think really, the importance of archives is immensurable and I wish more people were aware of that. And of course accessibility to the public is a major topic, is of crucial importance and I hope that also with the digitization of more and more documents will be achieved in much greater range. 

    Camelia: Thank you, yes I agree, I remember that during my last year of study, I studied History, one of the teachers sent us to the archives and said “You have to do it, otherwise you cannot pass this class”. So, it was the best experience. And I agree, historians cannot write and understand what had happened if they do not see documents, if they donʼt use archival sources.

    Tatjana: Yes, exactly.

    Camelia: Considering the participation of the Croatian State Archives in the WEMov COST Action, could you tell us more about the collections it possesses on female migrants and female mobility? 

    Tatjana: Yes, so there are so many, you know. But as I said before there are unfortunately not fonds and collections on female migrants only. So, information on them can be found in many fonds and collections and of different kinds of migration also, it was either economic, forced migration caused by wars or the change of the political situation or migration due to personal or family reasons and so on, professional reasons maybe. I would say that most of the collections and fonds we have here about migration are from the twentieth century. I can name a couple of them that are really important and include many, many documents on womenʼs migration. For example, that is the Fond of State Security Service of Croatia, then it was a part of Yugoslavia of course, so we have in this fond a large unit of documents called “Emigration”. There we can find numerous analyses, reports, observations on monitoring migrants, male and female; we also have many females in this fond. And we also have 65,000 personal dossiers on monitored persons, women included, so if you know by name a woman migrant you can look her up and see if she has her file, her dossier of the Secret service and there is a lot of information in those files. Not only in files, but also in the general documents on migration. 

    So, besides that fond which is really large, we have for example a fond called Institute of Migration and Ethnic Studies, also from the twentieth century, during socialism, and which holds archival records on migration movements from and to Croatia as a part of Yugoslavia, of course. And I can single out one fascinating unit of that fond besides others, and these are the “Questionnaires of workers on temporary work abroad”. These questionnaires were collected from the mid-1960s to the beginning of the 1970s and they were composed for the people who went to work in Western European countries from Yugoslavia since the beginning of the 1960s. This is a unique example that one socialist country had sent their people to Western capitalist countries for work, because the economic situation in Yugoslavia was very poor, they couldnʼt find jobs, they couldnʼt feed their families, and so they had to go abroad, to emigrate. So, it was supposed to be temporary migration because authorities thought that the people would return but many of them never did. And so these questionnaires include over 40 questions on all the aspects of this kind of emigration, revealing the everyday lives of male and female migrants who came from Yugoslavia and actually reflect this gloomy reality of their lives, you know. They had to work long hours, they had low wages, they were exploited, they had very little free time since they were primarily uneducated and with no particular skills and many of them, especially women, worked without work permits, so they were not protected in any way by trade unions. But these questionnaires are very valuable because each person answered these over 40 questions for themselves and you get lots of information just from one questionnaire and there are hundreds of them. This fond, the Institute of Migration and Ethnic Studies also keeps an excellent photo collection, so we have many migrant women in the pictures as well. 

    Besides these fonds I would like to mention the League of Communists of Croatia, of course as the political party that had control over the entire society, the entire social life of the State and received reports from its lower levels and of all the other institutions on all events that were going on in the Republic of Croatia. So, we also can find a lot of information and many analyses on different kinds of emigration to and from Croatia and Yugoslavia, including women. 

    So, besides the League of Communists we have for example the Emigrant Museum which dates from the first half of the twentieth century and concerns also migration to the overseas countries, to the USA and Canada, South America. It holds many different records on, for example, different societies, where women were involved in the receiving countries. Then we have the Croatian Heritage Foundation that was established in 1951, this is a society that concerns emigrants, kept in touch with them and also sent them various materials from Croatia, and emigrants sent letters where we can find information on their lives as emigrants. 

    And so on, we also have some personal fonds. We have so many fonds and collections, I canʼt name them all right now. 

    Camelia: Thank you, that is impressive. So, judging by all this material I am guessing emigration is an important topic for researchers in Croatia?

    Tatjana: Yes, definitely, I want to say that a couple of years ago we had this project on emigration at the Croatian State Archives and I was part of the team who worked on this project. Then we published a book – A guide on emigration, on all fonds and collections that the Croatian State Archive keeps on emigration and all of them were described there. It is a really valuable guide for researchers because all this information on emigration documentation is included in one book. You donʼt have to go through all the inventories at the archives, you just take this one book and you have the guide to certain fonds and collections, and you go to the fond from there. And at that time, we also did an exhibition on migration in the CSA, and I was the co-author. So, it was quite successful; people were very interested in this. 

    Camelia: So, you have made it really easy for someone who is interested in the topic to access information on it. Well, congratulations, that is amazing!

    Tatjana: Yes, thank you!

    Camelia: So, we have the next question but I think you already answered, unless you would like to add something else; has the Croatian State Archive coordinated any projects regarding female migration? 

    Tatjana: Not explicitly, not just about female migration, but we did have this project on migration in general. We did the exhibition on migration from the end of the nineteenth century to the beginning of World War II. The first idea was to make an exhibition all the way until the end of the twentieth century, but we had to split it, because of too much material. So, we did the first part until the beginning of the WWII, but never did the follow-up exhibition – on emigration in the time of socialism. But the Guide I mentioned before was on the documents from the seventeenthcentury to this day, this was complete.

    Camelia: Impressive. So, what types of documents relevant for female migration do the Croatian National Archives collect nowadays? Have the institutions generating them changed throughout the twentieth century? 

    Tatjana: Well, I canʼt say that the Croatian State Archives collects specific documents, we don’t collect just single documents, but rather fonds and create collections, you know, because fonds are the archival records that were created but by one creator, that is a certain institution, for example a Ministry, or a court or one person or one family. So, actually, the Law on archival records and archives prescribes the acquisition of archival documentation, and the Croatian State Archives works according to the Law. So, we don’t collect documents, but we collect what needs to be collected within the Croatian State Archives’ jurisdiction. That means records from the creators important at the national level – all state authorities, judicial institutions, military, political parties, organizations, personal fonds, films and movies, audio recordings, etc. We also have personnel fonds, so if an important private person wants to donate their documentation, they are welcome. So we accept donations of documentation that we consider important and valuable for us to keep. If within all these fonds and collections there are documents on women migrants, of course, we will collect them, but we canʼt just search for specific documents on that topic. That is not how it works.

    Camelia: I see, but once you organize the archive, you will highlight the presence of women, showcasing women in a different way than how it used to be done a century ago for instance, or the rules are the same?

    Tatjana: Yes, we have archival norms and standards and these norms and standards prescribe the way that documentation should be described, you know, we canʼt just do it as we see fit, we have to follow certain archival rules. And we can make it, if it is a very large fond maybe we can single out one unit if itʼs really just about women, but we organize documents according to the organizational structure of the creator, of this institution, we have to follow this path so we don’t have that much freedom that we could just do it some other way. There are rules we have to follow. 

    Camelia: Of course. Ok, so the last question from this section: In your opinion, did geography play a role in Croatia in generating migrant flows thus making women more mobile? Or do you think that other factors were more important? 

    Tatjana: Well, I think Croatia has always been on the path of large migrant movements because itʼs a passage between East and West and many wars have happened on these territories and Croatian lands changed their sovereignty, they belonged to different states, changed their borders so many times. There were also government changes and all these changes of course caused migration flows from ancient times until today. So, we had a very recent example of the homeland war which followed Yugoslaviaʼs disintegration and this is the example of forced migration. So, many people, mainly women and children from Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina also had to leave their homes due to the aggression of the Yugoslav army and Serbian leadership, and had to emigrate to foreign countries as refugees, but manystayed abroad and have never returned. So, factors to cause migration were both geographical and political and I have to add economic too. For example, we can see the last wave of economic emigration to the West since Croatia joined the European Union in 2013, when many, many especially young people and young families left Croatia for good, without any intent to return, which is really a loss of people, you know. 

    Camelia: I think many of the former Socialist countries after becoming part of the European Union were faced with this type of migration. The problem is that a lot of the men and women leaving the country are skilled and it creates animbalance in the workforce.

    Tatjana: Yes, because we lost skilled and educated people, you know, at least in Croatia, who were trained for free,because we don’t pay for education here and especially so many doctors and nurses also left and we have a shortage of doctors. And so many of them just left, migrated, itʼs a shame. Itʼs a really big loss.

    Camelia: Yes, I think itʼs a general phenomenon for Eastern, former Socialist countries. 

    Tatjana: Yes, I think so too.

    Camelia: Ok, so thank you for the answer and now I will start the third section of our interview. As a historian, a researcher and a specialist deeply involved in archival management you have a multi-layered perspective on the interconnection between the three fields. In our global world, where national states are trying to facilitate access to the fonds and collections they possess in their archives what do you think should be the way for them to best collaborate? Would a European platform be enough or should a regional grouping based on language and similar historical experiences be also of use?

    I think you have touched a bit on the topic.

    Tatjana: I think, of course, collaboration should be there, we canʼt do without one another, you know. So, either one can be of use, what we need first is good will to cooperate and we have congresses of archivists, here in Croatia, every four years and often people from the neighbouring countries also attend these congresses, so we have this kind of cooperation. And of course there is the international cooperation between archives. Not on a daily basis, but itʼs an integral part of archival service. One of the tasks of the service is to detect documents, fonds and collections that belong to Croatiaʼs archives and are currently held in some other country. For example, we have an issue with one large amount of documents, there is actually still an open question of succession of former Yugoslavia. So Croatia since Yugoslaviaʼs disintegration tried to get hold of archival documentation from the period of World War II, the archives of the Independent state of Croatia. And these documents are still in Belgrade, in Serbia, and until today we haven’t been successful in acquiring these documents. So, as I said the good will is the prerequisite for collaboration and then we can go further and think of other ways of working together. 

    Camelia: Of course, I agree, I know that the National Archives in Romania during the 1960s and 1970s have microfilmed part of the documents found in Vienna and other European archives. Still, it is not that easy to work with microfilms, they need to be digitized. 

    Tatjana: Yes, we also have this situation. We have lots of microfilms and some documents are still on microfilms, but many of them are digitized so they are now accessible on the computers, one can read these recording on computers,which is of course a much better option because if not, you have to have the micro-readers, you know, for these microfilms and this is just outdated technology.

    Camelia: Yes, you are right.

    Tatjana: Yes, they are so old, itʼs like they belong to the museum. 

    Camelia: I agree, yes. Ok, so archives are a valuable but a vulnerable and perishable source and given the fact that they have been organized on topics regardless of gender differences do you think that digitizing an archive would allow a different organization of the material so it could better showcase women and their migration routes?  

    Tatjana: Well, I also touched the topic of organization already because actually archives are not organized by topic, but by the creators of archives and the organizational structure of the specific institutions. So, thatʼs why it is essential when searching for some topic of interest in the archives to know what were the competences of particular institutions or organizations in a certain period of time. Otherwise, one can get lost and really would need help finding the documentation they are looking for. But I think digitization could help researchers if the correct search terms were added and used to the on-line catalogues. So, the documents one finds were easier to find whether we are talking about migrant women or any other topic, you know? So, digitization can organize the uploaded records virtually in a different order, we can compose an ad-hoc online collection but in reality, in the boxes, we must follow the organizational structure of the recordsʼ creator. But, I think the on-line environment can give us more opportunities to present certain topics of interest, including migrant women. So, maybe thatʼs the way to go.  

    Camelia: I am curious to know, since you mentioned that you have been involved in digitizing documents, so you know how things are done, I am curious when you do the catalogue at the end, or the description of each file do you also use English or is it just Croatian?

    Tatjana: Well, it depends on the purpose of the digitization; if itʼs for uploading on some international portal then itʼs ok to include the translation of the document or of the fond. But, if you are just talking about uploading on the archiveʼs website or some other portal within Croatia, then of course it stays in Croatian, because these are the official names of the fonds and collections, they are in Croatian, they are not in English. So, a researcher has to know the language if he wants to research, or else whatʼs the point if you have digitized documents if you canʼt understand what it says. So, at least basic knowledge of language is required, in my opinion.

    Camelia: Of course, I agree. 

    Tatjana: Yes.

    Camelia: Ok, so, the last question is: since you are not only the representative of a stakeholder but also a member of the WEMov network, we would like to know what has being a part of this network brought to you, the aspect you consider most relevant?

    Tatjana: I would say that being a part of this network has opened new perspectives for me. Since this is an interdisciplinary and international network the experience of others Iʼve met in this network and their viewpoints gave me a much broader insight into the possibilities of exploring the subject of womenʼs migration. So, I think this is the best thing, these new experiences are very important, this is like widening of the horizon, you know? And the possibilities of collaboration and any future joint work, any projects or something like that. And of course, Iʼve met some wonderful people working in Women on the Move, which has an exceptional value, just that.

    Camelia: Thank you for your answer, I agree, I think that is the most valuable aspect of being part of the network, just seeing all these perspectives and not being isolated because you realise how social phenomena are not isolated, they are part of larger processes that transcend countries. As for the collaboration with other colleagues, I think thatʼs the best part.

    Tatjana: Yes, that is really important and valuable for me. 

    Camelia: Thank you, these were all are questions. Thank you so much for accepting to be a part of the interview and for taking the time!

    Tatjana: Thank you!

    Camelia: Now, if Marie would like to intervene. 

    Marie Ruiz: I would like to say thank you very much, itʼs been really nice and I cannot wait to read it and go over it, and especially I liked the fact that you brought up some key features of migration in the Balkans, from Yugoslavia, this is really important. And as Camelia was saying, I am learning, we are all learning from other parts of Europe and their migration history. 

    Tatjana: Yes, of course.

    Marie: I want to say that you hosted a wonderful meeting for Working Group 1, you are Working Group 1 leader and I am really happy to work with you. So, thank you!

    Tatjana: Thank you! I am happy to work with you too.