Beyond Balkanization

Beyond Balkanization reveals how preserving and sharing one’s culture can build bonds that transcend borders.

In the latest Framed by WDET feature, Detroit-based storyteller Rob St. Mary and photographer Doug Coombe take a look at various metro Detroit immigrant groups who are from a crossroads of Europe. Their stories feature the local Balkan communities who have woven their cultural threads into the tapestry of the area.

The Balkans is a region with a long history of changing borders. As a result, someone might have immigrated to the Detroit region from a particular nation, but they may not identify with that country. This audio-visual story reveals how preserving and sharing culture – be it through music, food or dance – can build bonds that transcend borders. 

Taken by Doug Coombe / Framed by WDET

WDET will present an audio-visual installation of these stories at from 6 to 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 5 at the Oloman Cafe in Hamtramck. It will be a cultural celebration featuring Balkan food from Max’s Deli and music by members of Immigrant Suns and Macedonian folk musicians Milo Destanovski and Jessica Ruiz.

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  • Rob St. Mary
    Born and raised in a working class, northeast suburb of Detroit, Rob cultivated a love of music, writing, and media at a young age.