This story was originally written in Romanian, and is posted on the website for Libertatea. The read the story, and watch an accompanying video, click here.
Alina Dolea, 40, is a researcher and professor at Bournemouth University in southern England, where she coordinates a media studies and politics programme. Before she left Romania in 2017, Alina worked in PR, though in parallel she was an associate teaching assistant at the Faculty of Journalism and Communication Sciences in Bucharest. She couldn’t have made ends meet with only the symbolic salary she was paid as an associate teaching assistant.
After moving to Great Britain, she continued working on her research on national image, examining the connections of the diaspora with Romania and how migrants redefine their identity. She organised several focus groups in London, attended by Romanian immigrants in various social strata, and the most unexpected conclusion had to do with the emotional costs of migration. Everyone who leaves the country goes through a loss, she says.
“We are a nation with a serious chip on our collective shoulder, with cross-generational trauma, and the scars of communism are apparent in many things, including how we relate to our peers. After the Revolution, the inferiority complex was milked for all it was worth. See, our neighbouring countries joined the EU sooner than us, and look what a bad image we get in foreign media” says Alina Dolea.