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Accepted Paper:

‘You need people, everyone needs people’: resilience, resourcefulness and the ‘struggle for life’ in Macedonia   
Violeta Schubert (University of Melbourne)

Paper long abstract:

The pressures brought on by unrealistic and unrealisable targets to construct an ideal democratic (corruption-free) polity, free market and the perpetual pressure to reconsider the name of their state has taken its toll on the people in Macedonia who have to negotiate through the minefields of life brought on by poverty and economic deprivation on a daily basis. These pressures have led to much disengagement, apathy, deviance and self-indulgence. Nonetheless, perhaps because of this, Macedonians as a cultural or ethnic grouping have developed particular ways of engaging with the world, constructing a worldview in which ‘struggle for life’ is normalised- to be expected not only because others do not want to recognise or acknowledge how you see yourself to be, but just importantly because of their own ‘nature’, compelling a particular way of approaching self and relations within and amongst the people themselves as central to survival. That is, prolonged and ongoing crisis, be it existential or not, draws out creative and imaginative ways of dealing with life, compels resilience and resourcefulness and the reliance of others. As Macedonians say ‘You need people’ and it is sociality and reliance on networks of relations that draws out imaginative or creative solutions that cannot be easily found in formal systems and structures.

Panel IW005
Imagination, crisis and hope, or, do futures have a future?
  Session 1