SOAS University of London

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Ms Petra Matijevic

BA (Ljubljana), MPhil (Ljubljana)


Petra Matijevic
Ms Petra Matijevic
Email address:
Thesis title:
On the Fringes of the European Union: Food Self-sufficiency and the Eurozone Crisis in Slovenia
Internal Supervisors

PhD Research

My research examines how food self-sufficiency (samooskrba) is interpreted and engaged with in Ljubljana, Slovenia, to analyse its relevance in framing ideas about citizenship during austerity of the Eurozone crisis. I argue that Slovenian understandings and forms of food self-sufficiency do not indicate isolation or exclusion from markets or state institutions, but represent attempts of sustaining participation within these networks. Drawing on research conducted with government officials, urban growers and consumers, I propose that food self-sufficiency serves as cushioning against precarity. Slovenes employ the narratives and practices of samooskrba to reduce everyday uncertainties, envision viable futures; and seek economic, political and ethical benefits to improve their predicaments. These engagements are more than responses to the crisis; they illustrate the physical and affective work invested in enduring the crisis and making sense of it. This includes challenging ideas of nationhood and European citizenship called upon in these processes.


  • 2017, ‘Seasonal vegetables and life-making in Ljubljana,’ Material Culture: How things make people, Research centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Ljubljana, 27-28 September.
  • 2017, ‘What is good food?’ SOAS Food Studies Centre Postgraduate Research Workshop, SOAS, University of London, 8-9 June [workshop co-organiser].
  • 2017, ‘Hoping for growth: Food provisioning on urban gardens in Ljubljana, Slovenia,’ Third International Conference on Food History and Cultures, Institut Européen d’Histoire et des Cultures de l’Alimentation, Tours, 1-2 June.
  • 2017, ‘Our superfood: Food self-sufficiency and the state of confusion in Slovenia,’ Presented at Embracing Confusion and Questioning Clarity: On Matters of Method in Postsocialist Studies (SOYUZ Symposium), Indiana University, Bloomington, 3-4 March.
  • 2016, ‘Edges of the garden: The self and food self-sufficiency in Ljubljana, Slovenia,’ 14th Summer University Dedicated to Food and Drink Studies, Institut Européen d’Histoire et des Cultures de l’Alimentation, Tours, 28 August – 2 September.


  • SOAS Research Students' Association
  • Food Studies Centre
  • European Association of Social Anthropologists