VISION Project


Our team

Magdalena Nowicka 

Magdalena is the principal investigator leading the VISION project; she is Head of Department Integration in the DeZIM Institute and honorary professor in the Institute of Social Sciences at the Humboldt University in Berlin.  

Magdalena is a sociologist with research interests in migration and migrant transnationalism in Europe, diversity, conviviality and racism. Her recent publications include the book Revisualising Intersectionality (Palgrave, 2022, with Elahe Haschemi Yekani and Tiara Roxanne), COVID-19 Pandemic and Resilience of the Transnational Home-Based Elder Care System between Poland and Germany, in Journal of Aging&Social Policy (with Susanne Bartig, Kamil Matuszczyk, Theresa Schwass), State of normality: Transnational migrants’ shifting views of state institutions and their obligations, in Journal of Sociology, and Understanding Migrant Masculinities through a Spatially Intersectional Lens, in Men and Masculinities (with Katarzyna Wojnicka) 

Kyoko Shinozaki

Kyoko is Professor for Sociology, “Social Change and Mobilities” and is PI of Salzburg team. She is a transnational scholar, trained in law (Japan) and sociology (Germany and Japan), political science (USA) and gender studies (UK and Japan). She contributes to VISION through her expertise in gender, institutional whiteness, skilled and care labour migration, combined with her engagement in sustainability (co-lead-author, the Austrian Panel on Climate Change, Special Report 21). Her transdisciplinary projects in the UniNEtZ SDG10 “Reducing Inequalities” and “High Alpine Lake Biodiversity and Climate Change” engage in a science-art-public dialogue.   

Maggi Leung

Maggi has been appointed professor of International Development Studies at the University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences.

Maggi Leung is a geographer and migration scholar by training. Her research aims to account for the prevailing uneven socio-spatial impact of the flows that define our interconnected world. Leung endeavours to produce insights that contribute to more just and sustainable futures. Working with multi-scalar (from the global to the body), intersectional and translocal perspectives, her main research interests are: opportunities and challenges of migration, with a focus on related injustice; internationalisation of education and knowledge mobilities; and Chinese transnationalism and impact on global development. 

As professor at the UvA, Leung will build on these research themes. The Bachelor’s and Master’s courses that she will teach will also focus on key societal issues including migration and mobilities, politics of knowledge, and the growing influence of China in global development.

Bianca Szytniewski 

Bianca is Assistant Professor in human geography at Utrecht University. She is an interdisciplinary researcher with expertise in ethnographic research, visual methodologies and policy research. She obtained her PhD on feelings of unfamiliarity and cross-border mobility in European borderlands, both EU inner and outer borders, and has expanded her research focus since towards broader research on migratory and mobility flows of mobile workers across Europe. Her research is embedded in a larger academic and societal debate on labour migration and mobility infrastructures and the economic and social impact on both local arrival infrastructures and sending communities from within and outside the EU.

Piotr Goldstein

Piotr is a social scientist working at the intersection of social and visual anthropology, sociology, and political science. He received his PhD from the University of Manchester and holds MA in International Peace Work from the University of Trieste and MA in Philosophy from the University of Lodz. Before coming to Berlin in 2019, he held a Thomas Brown Assistant Professorship at Trinity College Dublin and a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Manchester. Currently, he works at the German Centre for Integration and Migration Research (DeZIM) and at the Centre for East European and International Studies (ZOiS), both in Berlin. In VISION he is responsible for the coordination of visual and sensory ethnography in the project and collaborative work with our research partners in Brandenburg.  Piotr’s has research expertise in activism and civil society, post-conflict societies, migration, inter-ethnic dynamics, identity and gender. He is the author of several ethnographic documentaries, including award-winning Active (Citizen), and Spółdzielnia/Cooperative.

Iepke Rijcken 

Iepke is enrolled as a Ph.D. student at the Sociology Department of Paris Lodron University Salzburg. Her doctoral research is anchored in the VISION project. Iepke uses ethnographic and visual participatory research methods to gain a deeper understanding of people’s lifeworlds in ‘inner-peripheries’ in Germany and Poland.  

Iepke completed a bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences and a master’s in Cultural Anthropology both at the University of Utrecht.  

Cristina Buza

Cristina is a PhD Researcher within the Governance and Inclusive Development group at the University of Amsterdam. Her research interests include transnationalism, material culture in migration, labor (im)mobilities and migrants’ everyday life experiences. In her doctoral research within the VISION project, she uses ethnographic research methods to understand people’s livelihoods in ‘inner-peripheries’ in Germany and Romania and how these places are interconnected in relation to the transnational regime of mobile work. 

Cristina graduated with MA in Development Studies at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Erasmus University Rotterdam. Before, she completed a bachelor’s in Banking and Finance and a master’s in Economics both at the Academy of Economic Studies of Moldova.

Petra Andits

Dr. Petra Andits is MSCA Seal of Excellence Fellow at the Free University of Bolzano where she leads a project on the emergence of sexual populism in Hungary in the context of migration. Petra is cultural anthropologist by training and holds a Ph.d. in Political and Social Inquiry from the Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. She was research fellow at various universities, among them Universidad Pompeu Fabra in Spain, Tel Aviv University, University of Granada, Ca’Foscari University in Italy as well as the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. She is also an experienced ethnographic and documentary film maker. 

At DeZIM, Petra is fellow in the Integration Department and associated with the VISION project.

Denis Zeković – Erasmus Student Fellow at VISION

Denis is a research Master’s student of International Development Studies at the University of Amsterdam. He is conducting fieldwork and writing his thesis in the context of VISION. In his research, he focuses on the implications of regional development on social space. He focused on topics like ethnicity, conflict, and migration during his studies. As for methods, Denis has experience in social network analysis, computational methods, and qualitative methods (mostly interviews and observations)
He is interviewing politicians and locals alike for his thesis, combining that with counter-mapping. Furthermore, he plans to apply computational methods to policy documents. The overall aim is to compare the plan and realization of regional development with the locals’ perception of that change in the Oder-Spree region.

Before starting his Master’s, he studied sociology, political science, and Islamic studies at the University of Tübingen (Germany).

Paul Spernac-Wolfer

Paul Sperneac-Wolfer completed his MA in the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at the Central European University and is currently pursuing a PhD in the ERC FOODCIRCUITS project at the University of Barcelona. He has developed a strong focus on (migrant) labour, Eastern European transnationalisms and food systems, and is developing visual-ethnographic methods to explore these issues in a participatory and more-than-academic way. He is currently working with Romanian food workers, exploring how food actually becomes cheap and the social structures that underlie this process.

Maksymilian Awuah

Maksymilian Awuah studies Political Science at the Freie Universität Berlin. He also works as a student assistant and project researcher at the VISION Project at DeZIM. His academic focus centers on decolonial and intersectional approaches. In his university work and involvement with VISION since January 2023, Maksymilian explores and collects visual and sensory data and assists in editing it, while also employing multimodal methods.

He is dedicated to studying precarious labor conditions experienced by mobile and seasonal workers, and has a particular interest in and Polish-German relations.