CAS SEE Seminars with Guests: Čarna Brković

On Thursday, February 25th at 12:00 pm (CET) we hosted CAS SEE Weekly Seminar with Čarna Brković presented by our fellow Kevin Kenjar. The seminar is entitled: Minority Sexualities, Kinship, and Non-autological Freedom in Montenegro.

This talk explores conceptions of freedom among gay men in Podgorica, Montenegro, who strive to maintain love alongside kinship relations. The demands of liberal freedom and those of social relatedness are often seen as opposed. By contrast, in Podgorica we can trace a notion of “non-autological freedom” understood as an ability to engage in a certain practice while thinking through its conditions and constraints from multiple perspectives and in a way that Čarna Brković interlocutors saw as respectful of others. Linking anthropological discussions of freedom with a focus on ordinary ethics, in this talk she will explore how we can understand freedom as a shared category, practiced through an open and collective deliberation with other people. Gay men who pursued love and sexual fulfillment as well as stringent family expectations did not enact freedom as always-already individualized subjects who made autonomous choices; they came into being as particular socio-moral persons by deliberating either collectively, through an actual conversation, or by engaging in imaginative identification with others. By placing both relationality and deliberation at the heart of freedom, in this talk, Brković will discuss anthropological approaches to this concept.

Čarna Brković is a Lecturer in Cultural Anthropology and European Ethnology at the University of Goettingen. Her work combines a focus on inequalities and power with an eye for social complexity and ambiguity. After her PhD at the University of Manchester, she started developing two projects. One explores what happens with humanitarian affect and practices in Eastern European semiperiphery and how the fall of socialism transformed humanitarianism in former Yugoslavia. Another looks at the experiences and practices of sexuality and freedom among gay men in Montenegro. Čarna is the author of “Managing Ambiguity” (Berghahn, 2017) and has written about care, favors, refugee camps, and histories of anthropology.

Watch the CAS SEE Weekly Seminar with Čarna Brković: