Balkans Beyond Borders has invested time and effort in creating a network of young active people from the Balkan region and beyond in order to support and promote the BBB idea in the EU. BBB Team consists of five young professionals from the Balkan region and beyond from the field of international politics and cultural management.
In BBB we wish to actively engage as many interested individuals as possible in order to promote independent short film productions and its goals in their country/region by communicating our activities, as well as providing ideas and taking up the responsibility to realize them. For this reason, BBB Ambassadors team was created with members form Balkan Region, Europe and beyond.
Konstantina Karydi is Special Advisor on European Affairs and Public Administration to the Mayor of Athens and Head of the Europe direct Office of the Municipality of Athens. She has worked as Research Fellow at the European think tank ELIAMEP focusing on participatory politics, governance and urbanization. She is fellow of the european network of excellency FutureLab Europe. She has studied Political Science, French (BA) and European Public Policy (MSc) at University College London (UCL) and Sorbonne Paris IV and is PhD candidate at the University of Athens.
She is co-founder of the organization involved in all aspects of BBB’s strategic activities amd metworking.
Monica Bucurenciu holds a Master of Science in Comparative Social Policy from Oxford University and has over 10 years of experience in working with civil society actors in Eastern Europe, the Southern Caucasus and the Western Balkans. For the past seven years she has been working for the European Commission on international cooperation, managing a variety of multi-country programmes.
Monica’s experience in EU matters and knowledge of the Balkans region are substantial for BBB’s success.
Vasiliki Maltasoglou (Greece, 1983) studied International and European Relations at Panteion University in Athens and she did her Masters on International Politics at City University of London. Her research is mainly focused on EU and Southeast Europe issues with special interest in Turkey. She has undertaken research on Turkish External Relations, Greek Crisis and EU mobility.
Her professional expertise is on Marketing and Social Media and her passion on art and creativity. In BBB team she is the Communication Manager and she is dealing with all promotional activities of BBB at all fields (Film Festival, Workshops, Cultural Events, Research Projects) and holds the communication with the Film makers, Film Festivals, NGOs, Media and the public.
Veroniki Krikoni was born on 30th June of 1983 in Athens where she currently lives. Her studies in International and European Studies (Panteion University) and European Cultural Studies (Erasmus mundus Euroculture Programme, Joint Master of Arts) offered her a cosmopolitan mindset and way of living. She has lived in Italy, Poland and the Netherlands, while she is familiar with the countries of the Balkan Peninsula.
She is actively involved in civil society and has established several cooperations with NGOs (Caravan Project, Hellenic History Foundation, Inter Alia etc) that wish to use art and creativity in order to make people re- imagine their own lived experience. Her expertise is in the field of arts & education, culture & audiovisual, visual analysis, Youth, related mostly with the project design and management of that kind of intercultural activities. From 2012 she is also actively involved in the field of composing, editing and submitting calls for proposals for EU Funded Programmes (Youth in Action Programmes, Creative Europe, Europe for Citizens, European Cultural Foundation, European Fund for the Balkans).
She has a growing interest in the audiovisual productions, a curiosity about people’s stories and a strong feeling of making people’s voices to be heard through the power of moving image. The cinema has been the vehicle of her inspiration and the main tool of her research on the Europeanisation process in relation to the construction of cultural identities and their visual representation.
As a co-founder of the Balkans Beyond Borders (BBB), she is the organizer of its Short Film Festival, while she has also been responsible for the project design and management of several intercultural activities through non-typical ways of learning in the field of arts and education both in Greece and abroad. Through BBB she aspires to enhance youth mobility in the Balkans, promote short film productions by young film-makers from the region and contribute to the reimagination of the Balkan identity vis-à-vis the European one.
Adela Demetja is a curator and writer born in 1984 in Tirana, Albania. She holds a Master in Curatorial and Critical Studies from Städelschule and Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. She is one of the founders and director of Tirana Art Lab – Centre for Contemporary Art based in Tirana. She curated a number of international exhibitions and events in different European countries. Recent thematic exhibitions she has curated include: „The aesthetic of the small act at Action“ Field Kodra in Thessaloniki and „Voices of Truth“ in Villa Romana in Florence, Italy. In 2015 she co-curator of the third edition of the international contemporary Project Biennale D-0 Ark Underground taking place in the anti-atom shelter build by Tito in Konjic, Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 2016 she was appointed curator of Focus: Ex-Yugoslavia and Albania at viennacontemporary international art fair, Vienna Austria. As an author she has been writing exhibitions reviews, catalogue text and articles for different online platforms and publications.
In BBB she was one of the founders and she was art director during the period 2010-2015.
Marianna Stefanitsi has been active in the cultural field as a project manager, independent researcher and artist, since 2018. She is a founding member of CLOSING SOON, a contemporary art space dedicated to minimum production, and an associate researcher in the Centre of New Media & Feminist Public Practices at theDepartment of Architecture, University of Thessaly.
She holds a BFA & integrated degree in Fine Arts from Athens School of Fine Arts and an ΜA degree in Cultural Management from Panteion University. Her thesis concerns the identity of cultural, non-profit institutions and their relationship with the art scene of the city of Athens. She is a PhD candidate at the Department of Media, Communication & Culture, Panteion University and her doctoral dissertation concerns Greek visual art production.
She is the project manager and event organizer of the BBB organization.
Alexandros, Ambassador in Belgium
Alexandros Vigkos is currently completing an advanced MSc in European integration & development at the Institute for European Studies of VUB, in Brussels. The fields he is interested in include amongst others, migration, European asylum policies, human rights and social integration. He is fascinated by the cultural richness and huge potential of the Balkan region and people. This potential can be exploited through education and close cooperation of the Balkan countries and this is where BBB’s role comes in. He is open for ideas and suggestions in order to contribute to BBB’s values through organizing events and activities.
Ana, Croatian Ambassador
Ana Grgic holds a PhD in Film Studies from the University of St Andrews, with a thesis entitled “Mapping constellations: early cinema in the Balkans, archives and cultural memory”. Her scholarly contributions include articles and chapters in The Film Festival Yearbook 5: Archival Film Festivals (2013), Frames Cinema Journal (2013), Divan Film Festival Symposium Papers (2014, 2015), Cinemas of Paris (2015), Studies in Eastern European Cinema (2016), Short Film Studies (2017), Film Quarterly (2018) and East European Film Bulletin. She has co-edited a special issue on Albanian cinema for KinoKultura, and as a Board member of the Albanian Cinema Project she was involved in the preservation and exhibition of Balkan cinema heritage (Archives in Motion workshops). Ana was also the co-organiser of The 5C Project, a year-long film literacy project funded by the Creative Media, taking place in Croatia, Greece, Romania and Albania.
Anelia Bulgarian and UK (London) Ambassador
Anelia Fikiina hold s an MA degree in European Studies from King’s College London and a master’s degree in International Management. Anelia has a genuine interest in EU foreign policy and Western Balkans affairs and has done research on Europeanisation in Serbia. She is also interested in European integration and the debate around reforming the EU following the financial crisis.
Anelia was born and raised in Bulgaria and have lived in Lyon, Budapest, Madrid, Glasgow, Athens and London. In Athens, apart from being BBB’s Ambassador, Anelia was also working for Insider Magazine. Fluent in several languages, Anelia is passionate about international affairs, art and culture, and and uses any possibility to promote the diversity and richness of the Balkans.
Anelia is a communications professional based in London.
Anne- Charlotte, Dutch Ambassador
Anne-Charlotte Fauvel (France, 1987) holds a double MA degree in European Affairs and International Relations from Sciences Po Lille-France and Aston University-United Kingdom (2011). She had the opportunity to work in Belgrade and Washington DC for NGO and non-profit organisations, and now lives in Amsterdam. She has extensive knowledge of European funding and management of European cooperation projects, and currently works as EU projects coordinator for a non-profit based in The Netherlands. Previously she worked for 2 years in France supporting the coordination and international positioning of animation and short films festivals, and of a cultural venue specialized in screening short films. Her strong interest in the Balkan region started back in 2008 when interning in Belgrade and never stopped growing since. She could not think of a better organization to support than BBB, and is very enthusiastic about promoting BBB ideas beyond the Balkans region.
Bozhana Bulgarian Ambassador (Sofia)
Bozhana Shoshkova has first completed her Bachelor in marketing and pursued a second master degree in Advertising Management. Between 2012 and 2013 she was enrolled as a European volunteer with the organization of the 10th edition of the German Short Film Festival for youth, FiSH – Festival im StadtHafen in Rostock and participated as volunteer in various other film and art festivals. In 2014 she was working as festival programmer and project manager for the International short film festival IN THE PALACE, held annually in Bulgaria, where she was actively involved in the whole organization process of the festival as well as in the implementation of different youth mobility projects. At the moment, she is working for one of the leading European providers of tickets for various concerts, festivals, theatres, sports and cultural events. She is passionate about the audio visual culture as a communication medium in the modern society and what fascinates her the most is the artistic expression and power of the short film genre, used as tool for building bridges and establishing a dialog between different cultures.
Danijela, Montenegrin Ambassador (Niksic)
Danijela Radulovic, born in 1990 in Niksic, Montenegro has studied Production ( Ba ) and Film production ( Spec.Art ) at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Cetinje. Participated in the program for young and talented filmmakers from Europe – Sarajevo Talent Campus 2013 (Sarajevo Film Festival), participant of Cinema City campus in Novi Sad 2013, won first prize for best pitch project at the International Film Festival in Pristina for the film “Tranquility of blood”, participant of talent campus Balkan film connection, Serbia 2014. Produced several short films (“Tranquility of blood”, “Intro” …), and produced and organized several cultural and artistic projects . Currently working at the Royal Theatre Zetski dom in Cetinje as a producer and PR, involved in the design and conception of the film segment of upcoming MIT festival.
Firuze Turkish Ambassador
Firuze Karaoğlu (1988, Turkey) gratuated from İstanbul Technical University with a degree on Urban and Regional Planning. She did European Voluntary Service in Thessaloniki, Greece and after she completed it, she participated at the BBB film making workshop in Athens in 2011 creating her own film. She has been involved in many international projects on media and filmmaking, including the project called ‘North Aegean Narratives’ (http://northaegeannarratives.
Mariana Ambassador in Spain
After graduating from the Film Studies program at NATFA, Sofia in 2005, Mariana has been working as a film and cultural journalist for several years. Pursuing a career shift, in 2010 she moved to Amsterdam to continue her education in the field of film archiving and curatorship. As part of the educational program, she completed an internship at Filmoteca de Catalunya, Barcelona and she is currently living in the Catalan capital focusing on film festivals management and curating of content from Eastern Europe and the Balkans. She has already curated “Visiones Balcanicas,” the first Balkan focus within the MECAL Short and Animation Film Festival in Barcelona (2015), the film cycle “Bulgaria, the Invisible Europe” at Barcelona’s Filmoteca de Catalunya and Madrid’s Filmoteca Española(2016), the Balkan Short Films selection for the installation Lògiques Naturals at Capella de Sant Joan, Vilafranca de Penedés (2017), and co-curated the Croation Focus within MECAL (2016). In 2016 she won the film criticism award of the Balkan cinema website Altcine.com, so she became an ambassador of Balkan Film for the 5C Project. She is currently handling social media and press communications for the Eastern Neighbours Film Festival.
Miruna Romanian Ambassador
Miruna Troncotă (literary pseudonym Miruna Vlada) is Lecturer and Postdoctoral researcher at the Department of International Relations and European Integration at the National School for Political Studies and Administration (Bucharest, Romania). She received a PhD in International Relations at the same university with a study on the Europeanization of Bosnia Herzegovina from a constructivist perspective (Tritonic, 2014). She had research fellowships in Berlin (Hertie School of Governance) and Ljubljana, and she conducted field research in Sarajevo and Prishtina. Miruna graduated the MA program of Political Theory and Analysis at the same university, completing also a study semester at Karl Franzens University (Graz, Austria). She participated in numerous national and international academic conferences focused on the Western Balkans. Her research interests are: EU Enlargement policy, EU foreign policy, Europeanization, the Western Balkans, Post-conflict societies, Constructivism, Critical Geopolitics.
Milica Savic New York city Ambassador
Milica Savic is a Serbian-American, born in Munich, Germany and raised in New York City. She sees her life in America is an opportunity to promote Balkan culture abroad. In 2013 she received her Bachelors degree from Bard College in Political Studies and Creative Writing, spending the last year of her studies researching and writing her thesis on Identity in the Serbian National Imaginary. In 2014 she received her double MA degree through the UNESCO Chair in Cultural Policy and Management at the University of Arts in Belgrade and Universite Lumiere de Lyon. She works in the cultural and arts sector in Belgrade and New York City. She is fluent in English, Serbian and German and is actively learning French and Russian.
More Raca, Kosovar Ambassador
More Raça is a Kosovar writer/director. She has directed three short films and won numerous international awards. More Raça focuses on social-economic issues concerning women problems and challenges. Apart from her profession, she is actively engaged towards the promotion and protection of human rights in Kosovo.
Myrtia French Amabassador
Myrtia Vellianiti is studying political sciences at the University of Sciences Po Rennes in France. Because of her double origin (Greek and French) she decided to spend her third year in Greece. After 7 months of internship in a sociological research center where she got a better understanding of the sociological and political issues of Greece and the Balkans, she decided to take action by joining the team of BBB as intern. She believes that in this time of deep crisis people need to build and think about ways of resistance and she strongly supports the idea that we need creative cooperation between cultures and individuals to defeat all kind of obstacles. BBB corresponds to her believes. When she heard about BBB she directly saw a perfect way to develop, share ideas and create but she also saw an organization that will give her a practical experience, helpful for her studies.
Rifat Erkek was born in Malatya, works and lives in Istanbul, Turkey. He graduated from Ankara University Deparment of Journalism. After graduating, he studied at Pittsburgh Filmmakers in the USA. When he came back to Turkey he completed his master’s degree at Cinema, Television, Radio Department of Istanbul University. He worked in various film, Tv and commercial projects. Also he signed several short films with his crew. He and their crew won several awards at several
international and national film festivals. He is going on making films and photographs. Also, He is working at the media company as a communication specialist.
Theodora Greek Ambassador
Theodora Tsitoura (Greece, 1986) has an academic background in the fields of International & European Economic studies (BA in Athens University of Economics and Business), and in Heritage Management (MA in University of Kent and AUEB – joint degree). Her master’s field study was placed in Bosnia Herzegovina, and it was concerning the Sarajevo 92-95 war dark heritage, management, tourism, and interpretation issues.
She has professional experience both in Greece and abroad, as project coordinator in the “Pithari – Exarcheia 2015″ project, which aimed to promote the local landmarks of Exarcheia district through ethnographic research; and as research assistant in Istanbul Bilgi University, with main tasks the historical research on the demographic characteristics of the Eastern Thrace Greek villages imposed on forced population exchange, and the formation of main management proposals for the Hadımköy station museum.
Olympia is a freelance trainer and consultant in International field, designing, coordinating and
implementing experiential education programs on various topics for children, youth and adults. She
collaborates with public and private institutions and she is an expert of non-formal education methods
and tools. She has much professional and voluntarily experience in organizing cultural events such
film and music festivals, biennale, exhibitions and contests. She is the executive producer of the
documentary Thess EVS(?). Olympia loves learning by doing and she believes that creativity is the
key factor for everything!
Spyridoula is 21 years old and is a student of International and European Relations at University of Piraeus. She is actively involved in cultural life of Athens, she participates in cultural events promoting greek tradiotion and culture. She has a growing interest in the field of education, innovation, training, culture and arts and how all these can reinforce young people to become more creative in their personal and professional life.
Georgia Anna Chondrou
Georgia Anna is 21 years old and an undergraduate student in the Department of Communication, Media and Culture, at Panteion University. Due to her studies, she has a great interest in social media marketing, cultural events, and European programs or trainings. She also enjoys working voluntarily and expanding her skills.
In Balkans Beyond Borders, she works as a communication and marketing assistant in cooperation with the BBB Team. Mainly, she is helping with the website and creating communication plans and content for the social media channels of the organization, for BBB’s festivals and events.