Balkan cities and their secrets are at the heart of a new ESI project supported by ERSTE Foundation in Vienna. Why is Novi Sad, one of the wealthiest places in Serbia and a centre of alternative culture, run by the Serb Radical Party? How is the relationship between Istanbul, the largest city of the region, and the rest of the Balkans changing? Is Tirana able to cope with its growth? What is the secret of the dynamism of Timisoara in Western Romania? What are the secrets of Pristina's past and present?
To answer these and other questions ESI analysts have embarked on a journey from Rome to Istanbul across all of South East Europe. One output is our interactive map of the Balkans: a landscape of stories, books, people and, thanks to Irish photographer Alan Grant, fascinating pictures. We hope you enjoy exploring it.
This is work in progress: the current map is only the beginning, and it will grow in depth in the coming weeks and months, as we try to capture more of the richness and dynamism of the Balkans. We will add more portraits of cities, more portraits of people and highlight more books about the region that we have found interesting and recommend.