Topic 2010: Taboo

Taboos change – rapidly. Homosexuality was once a taboo in Western Europe, as was “living in sin”, [i.e. outside marriage], abortion, childlessness, physical disabilities, atheism and suicide

No longer. But new taboos have arisen. The Europe of our ancestors was in some ways more accepting of depression, virginity, celibacy, getting old, illness and death than we are in our more youth-centred and health-orientated society.
Other once popular habits are becoming social sins and taboos, like smoking or cruelty to animals. To have a boring, uninteresting job is increasingly a taboo – an offence against the US-driven cult of fulfillment. So is obesity – once a sign of prosperity.
Under consideration are taboo areas like gay marriages, as well as family issues like arranged marriages and marital violence. Churches and other religious communities are increasingly shielded from real scrutiny. Do they merit this exemption from probing? The legacy of the wars of the 1990s is another field that might repay deeper exploration.

We have encouraged candidates not to feel limited by these suggestions, but instead they should feel free to propose other topics related to ideas surrounded by prejudice, silence and shame. This year, our aim is to recieve proposals that include plans for cross-border research, involving at least two countries in the Balkans and one EU member state. They should unearth fresh information or adopt original perspectives that will attract a wide readership in the Balkans and the EU.


07 Oct 2010 / 12:33

It was good to talk

Marcus Tanner
06 Oct 2010 / 10:20

Strange Times in Skopje

Jeton Musliu
01 Sep 2010 / 11:20

Completing the B Ring

Mircea Dan Opris
23 Aug 2010 / 13:35

Ten Intros later...

Jeton Musliu
16 Aug 2010 / 16:23

My last stop

Georgiana Ilie
13 Aug 2010 / 10:09

The hardest thing in my research

Majlinda Aliu
02 Aug 2010 / 10:20

Two months of silence, so much info

Mircea Dan Opris
27 Jul 2010 / 14:54

Now is the time to write

Jeton Musliu
16 Jul 2010 / 11:13

Heat Follows Me Everywhere, Even to London

Mila Popova