Summer School 2015

“It is paradoxical yet true to say that the more we know, the more ignorant we become in the absolute sense, for it is only through enlightenment that we become conscious of our limitations. Precisely one of the most gratifying results of intellectual evolution is the continuous opening up of new and greater prospects.” [Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla, who made many contributions to the development of alternating current (AC) and electromagnetic devices]

Ahoy Crewmates, and Welcome to the Serbian Group Page, Summer School 2015!

Nikola Tesla is alleged to have been very fond of pigeons

We don’t all have to make groundbreaking scientific inventions such as the Tesla Coil to appreciate how the exploration of the unknown can leave us feeling humbled. Whenever we discover something new we are also forced to step into uncharted territory, and it can be both terrifying and exciting to have a blank page put in front of us. But just as the Croatian-born physicist, futurist, and eccentric pigeon-lover realized, processes of discovery and growing, whether earth-shattering or more mundane, have everything to do with the acceptance of not-knowing. So let’s forget about smooth sailing! If all goes well, our trip along the Danube will set us along a path of exploration–and hopefully–adventure. It will cut us loose from the secure anchorage of our settled lives, and set us adrift in a strange but mind-expanding

world. Welcome aboard, and up with the anchor!

The mighty Danube flows some 588 kilometers through Serbia, forming some of her national borders. It runs along the Croatian border in the west, then cuts straight across upper Serbia, separating Vojvodina in the north. It then meets the River Sava in Belgrade, from where it continues east, running a jagged course southward, feeding the Negotinska Krajina wine region and eventually forming the border with Romania. The Dunav [Cyrillic: Дунав] leaves Serbia at the border with Romania and Bulgaria, but continues eastward, forming the entire border between the latter two countries, until it finally discharges into the Black Sea.

Golubac Fortress on the Danube

Golubac Fortress on the Danube

Navigator: Philip Barker

Crew: Abhishekh, Alys Bannister, Angelos Angelides, Aoife Mulcahy, Atchuthan Gopalan, Bethany Hine, Caroline Citarella, Chloe Ferguson, David Sánchez García, Elisa Toriseva, Feiyu Fang, Ip Shing Chak Elliot, Kim Trinh Le, Leonora Bowers, Lydia Fletcher, Michaela Carter, Michal Konisiewicz, Tammy Masterson, Wai Lam Jamie Mui

The Iron Gates

This historically mountainous part of the Danube proved un-navigable prior to the 19th century due to the rapids and whirlpools created by the Iron Gate gorges. There, between the lower Carpathian Mountains lying to the north and the Balkan Mountains to the south, the Danube river carves a passage through the rock, creating a series … Continue reading The Iron Gates


The term “Yugo-nostalgia” refers to a nostalgic emotional attachment to the Federal Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia. It is a phenomenon which occurs in many countries which were formerly a part of Yugoslavia, but is most prominent in Serbia, where as many as 80% of people think life was better in the former Yugoslavia. Though it … Continue reading Yugo-Nostalgia

Serbia And The EU

This Wednesday, students following the Danube pathway of UCL’s Global Citizenship Project attended a lecture by Filipa Figueira on The EU and its Policy towards the Danube: the Danube Strategy. This seemed especially topical following the news on Tuesday that 84% of the House of Commons had voted for David Cameron’s proposal to hold a … Continue reading Serbia And The EU