I am Adrienn. My background is in the social sciences, more precisely in African (SOAS, University of London, MA) and Inner Asian Studies (ELTE, PhD). I am often asked, “What does Africa have to do with Asia?”. Actually, a lot, but the connection I personally keep discovering is through the arts and everyday human experiences.

As a small girl, I tried every possible craft I could get access to, then instead of going to university, I decided on vocational training and qualified as a goldsmith. Without trying to exaggerate, this secondary-level school provided university-level training in the history of arts and made sure I learned how to follow instructions (hats off to all craftspeople, they are a highly disciplined bunch). I became the first craftsperson in the family, without a university degree and I suspect that was my first unconscious revolt against social conditioning. Only when I felt the time was right I applied for higher education and from then on there was no stopping.

I could study and work not only in my native Hungary, but in Mongolia and the UK too, then I ended up with a PhD degree in Tibetan and Mongolian studies, focusing on the arts, crafts, and relevant matters of these countries through fieldwork and desk-based research.

My work history includes the Hungarian National Museum and the Zanabazar Museum of Fine Arts in Ulaanbaatar (what a workplace it was!), and I have supported the work of various NGOs as a researcher, writer, and translator, in Hungary, the UK, and Mongolia.

Africa had been always with me. It is a bold statement from a Central European white woman, isn’t it? It didn’t come to me through learning like the above fields, likely, it’s been within from birth. I read everything I could about the continent, and know that I am the one who will forever envy Tippy Degré, who is best known for spending her youth in Namibia, playing with local children and wild animals. In secondary school, I had the unusual idea of finding a pen pal in Ghana, and only then I realized the incomprehensible difference between my then life and the life of an average African teen.

Cultures in general fascinated me since I was small. Everything different from what I was born into, intrigued me. One of the first essential readings in elementary school was about the famous siege of my hometown by the Turks. It is based on historical events, the consequences of which were long-lasting. Still, while reading, I was most interested in the character of a Janissary, a member of the Ottoman Sultan’s troops. He just seemed to be the most exciting character, despite being a rather cunning one.

Due to the expectations of pursuing a doctoral degree and what followed after I was awarded it, Africa faded in the background seemingly, but I never wanted to fully abandon any of the mentioned fields for the sake of the other. Unfortunately, this is not an advantage when more often than not we are expected to narrow down our interests and pick a niche or specialization, then aspire to be as good as we can within the chosen field. I handed in my last academic publication in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, then I hit the road. It was rocky and still is, but I would like to continue widening my horizon either through readings, research, traveling, or conversations, with as little restriction as possible, while still being a part of society.

At the start of 2022, I finished a creative writing course at the University of Oxford to see if I could apply my hard-earned writing skills outside the walls of academia. I certainly could! It became clear that I would unlikely ever write a fiction or a romance novel but I still wanted to spread information through writing. Thus my freelance writing business was born!

In my personal blog expect easy-to-read writings that aim to highlight the richness and interconnectedness of individuals, societies, countries, and continents.

Join me and enjoy every step you take.

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