Accepted paper:

The fertile New Ancient Macedonian body

Author:

Ilka Thiessen (Vancouver Island University)

Paper short abstract:

A growing Christian-Orthodox ethnocracy in Macedonia is creating a new socio-political order of ‘Ancient Macedonia’. Fertility clinics conspire, through gamete control, in creating new citizens for the 'cradle of European Civilisation.'

Paper long abstract:

With my talk I will introduce the issue of reproductive control of a growing ethnocracy in the Republika Makedonija. The nationalistic government (VMRO) won on a political  platform that denounced EU countries, foremost Greece, as mere impostors of the European spirit. VMRO politicians argue hat the true Europe can only be carried forward by the 'true' descendants of Alexander the Great. These 'true' descendants are living solely within the borders of Makedonija according to DNA tests in 2008 run by a Swiss lab (iGenea), their ethnic marker is that they are Christian-Orthodox, not Muslim-Albanian, a minority within Macedonia who fights for recognition. Since then six private fertility clinics were built, sponsored or supported by the nationalist party. These fertility clinics create life for a new Makedonija simultaneously invoked by explicit state policies, statements by politicians and religious leaders, and re-inscriptions in schoolbooks and the city-scape. I will show how gametes are being used to re-create the cradle of European civilization. Therefore, I argue that fertility clinics support Macedonia's ethnocracy through subtle policy; doctors selecting sperm from Denmark and Spain for its 'colour' unknown to the patients, prevention of a Macedonian sperm bank that could store 'Balkan,' 'Muslim,' 'non-civilized' sperm; privatization of modern, clean and sophisticated C-sections; hence creating European children in the context of Macedonia's nation building. I will discuss policies and thoughts of professionals and patients alike in order to understand how people today are destined by gametes in the contemporary world.

panel P106
Rethinking assisted conception: dynamics of law, morality and religion