This article ethnographically follows the everyday life of a homo sacer—a young Roma woman who has lived her whole life in a camp for displaced persons. The camp has been built for Roma, Ashkalias, and Balkan Egyptians who in 1999 fled from the violence in Kosovo to Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro. The key aim of the article is to see what happens with the concepts of ‘homo sacer’ and ‘bare life’ when ethnographically engaged in the context of Southeastern Europe. The article argues that ethnographic fieldwork in urban settings reveals in what way a homo sacer has an everyday life and a complex sociopolitical existence, and that camps are urban formations that can be related to very different sociohistorical and political projects.
Südosteuropa is an English-language, multidisciplinary journal for the exploration of critical societal issues and processes related to southeastern Europe after the systemic changes of 1989/90. It serves as a forum for current work in Southeast and East European Studies, including Political Science, Sociology, International Relations, Contemporary History, Economics, Anthropology, Law Studies, Gender Studies as well as Cultural Studies.