Accepted paper:

When patriarchy challanges nationalism: tales from albanski zetovi (Serbian grooms married to Albanian wives) in Southern Serbia


Armanda Hysa (University College London)

Paper short abstract:

The border zone between Northern Albania and Southern Serbia has not been crossed for many decades. Here we will try to explore how the recent Albanian Serbian mixed marriages overcome ideological and real borders and boundaries, precisely when these borders are presented as untouchable.

Paper long abstract:

The border zone between Northern Albania, Montenegro and Southern Serbia has not been crossed for 5 decades during socialist regimes of both countries, Albania and Yugoslavia. Border crossing intensificated after 1991 with Montenegro. Most of the trade of Shkodra region would take place in Montenegro. While relations with Serbia have been weak on multiple levels. The phantom of hostility (from both sides) has affected even the everyday communication among various strata of the population. After more than 100 years, in 2006, an Albanian woman would get married to a Serbian man in Southern Serbia, and from then, Albanian brides are to be found almost in every village of Sandjak (or Stara Raska). Serbian men married to Albanian women smiling would call themselves albanski zetovi, while telling how they crossed the uncrossable border to "Fear-land" (Albania). Through these stories here we will try to explore how, when the existence of the very traditional family - which is at the core of real patriarchy - faces the danger of extinction, real patriarchy overcomes, overpasses or breaks the rigid borders of nationalist ideology (or symbolic patriarchy)

panel P048
Cross-border consumption and collaboration in post-Yugoslav everyday life