Living polluted lives in an ecological state: Coping with pollution in a coal-mining town on the periphery of Montenegro
Montenegro was the first country in the world to declare itself as an “ecological state”. Its national anthem, everyday discourses and international self-representations glorify and worship the country's natural environment. Even the name of the country refers to the natural landscape. However, international reports are showing that Montenegro performs rather poorly compared to most of (post-socialist and rest of) Europe when it comes to environmental performances, including biodiversity protection, waste management and air quality. The country is actually home to one of the most (air) polluted inhabited places of the former Yugoslavia – the coal-mining town of Pljevlja with a coal-fired power plant – lying on the periphery of the country.
My doctoral research aims to understand the relation of local people to the polluted environment, examining their perception and comprehension of polluters, pollutants and pollution in the everyday lives, and strategies and mechanisms they deploy in coping with their hazardous environment. Environmentalism and environmental activism in contemporary Montenegro have been primarily focused on nature conservation and the protection of natural and semi-natural ecosystems. In contrast, community-based urban environmentalism – including the one in Pljevlja – has not been so visible. Why is it like that? How do local people experience pollution in their everyday lives? How do they react at the level of discourse and the level of practice? What narratives and experiences have shaped their relation to the polluted environment they live in? To answer these questions, I will conduct ethnographic fieldwork in the northernmost town of Montenegro, consisting of participant observation and (in)formal in-depth interviews.
Miloš Đurović earned his BA and MA degree in Ethnology and Anthropology at the University of Belgrade, Serbia. In his previous theses, he was primarily focused on the construction of religious, gender and political identity of Muslim women in the Sandžak/Raška region of Serbia through the practice of wearing the hijab, and political discussions created around the visibility of “covered” Muslim women across (mostly "Western”) Europe. He has worked as a university teaching associate in anthropological courses and as an interdisciplinary researcher of social policies in Montenegro. Since April 2021, he has been a scholarship holder of the Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies in Regensburg, supervised by Prof. Dr. Ger Duijzings. In addition to more commonly discussed socio-political and environmental issues in contemporary societies, academically and beyond it, he is interested and enthusiastic about the question of nonhumans, their autonomy and rights, within the social reality created by anthropocentric discourses and power relations.
Hidžab kao fenomen konstruisanja i osporavanja identiteta: primjer savremenog Novog Pazara [The hijab as a Phenomenon of Constructing and Contesting Identity: The Example of Contemporary Novi Pazar], Etnoantropološki problemi 10 (4), 2015, pp. 821-838.
Kristofer Boem, Krvna osveta: regulisanje i upravljanje sukoba u Crnoj Gori i drugim plemenskim društvima [Blood Revenge: The Enactment and Management of Conflict in Montenegro and Other Tribal Societies], Podgorica: CID, 1998. Aquamarine Press, 2016.
Social policy reports
Thematic Report on Access to Essential Services for Low-income People - Montenegro, European Social Policy Network (ESPN), Brussels: European Commission, 2020. (co-author)
Thematic Report on National Strategies to Fight Homelessness and Housing Exclusion - Montenegro", European Social Policy Network (ESPN), Brussels: European Commission, 2019. (co-author)
Panellist at the “XXIV Regionalni Miločerski razvojni forum – Ekologija: regulacija, edukacija, biznis” [Twenty Fourth Regional Miločer Development Forum – Ecology: Regulation, Education, Business], Cetinje (Montenegro), September 14-18 2019.
“Nedostajući podaci i istraživanja u oblasti migracija u Crnoj Gori” [Missing Data and Research in the Area of Migration in Montenegro], Western Balkans Migration Network Meeting, Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina), December 14 2018.
“Internal Migrations of Young People in Montenegro” at the “Third Annual Conference of the Western Balkans Migration Network – A Search for That Special Place under the Sun in Modern Europe: Migration in the Twenty-First Century”, Zagreb (Croatia), May 25-26 2018.
“Anthropological Research Methods” and “Implementing an Anthropological Research” at the Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Tartu (Estonia), April 15-24 2018.