I am Adrienn. Post academia I wanted to continue writing about my favourite fields, that are arts and culture, and the idea of this site was born to share my musings, learnings, and travellings.

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 crafts I could get access to, then instead of going to university, I decided on a vocational training and qualified as a goldsmith. I became the first craftsperson in the family, without a university degree. That must have been 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 and relevant matters of these countries through field-work and desk-based research.

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, which writings came mainly from privileged white men who hired servants to make their trips comfortable, and they paid little to no attention to the joys and sorrows of the people they visited, but they still managed to feed my curiosity. 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 penpal 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 home town 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 these 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, still is, but I would like to continue widening my horizon either through readings, research, travellings or conversations, with as little restriction as possible, while still being a part of the society. Have I mentioned my steadily growing interest in the Spanish-speaking world?

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 will unlikely ever write a fiction or a romance novel but I still wanted to spread information in a digestible way.

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.

Photo taken in the Sahara, south of Morocco. Adrienn is walking on the sand dunes.