Europe as cultural fact: post and crypto-colonialism in Cyprus
(University of Milano-Bicocca)
Paper short abstract:
An attempt to underline the connections between the flows of globalisation and the image of EU through the analysis of the post and crypto-colonial relationship of Greek Cypriots with Greece and the UK.
Paper long abstract:
The aim of my paper is to propose a redefinition of Europe as an ethnographic object through Appadurai's concept of "future as cultural fact" (Appadurai 2014). In the last few years Europe has been seen as the goal of the process of Europeanisation, in other words, as the outcome of a negotiation between two (or more) different actors normally staying in a relation of hierarchy, either in terms of centre-periphery or top-down. This theoretical approach fails in understanding that the EU is a matter-of-fact presence in the daily life of nearly 500 millions of people, who consider it as a significant element of their "good life" project (Appadurai 2014). From my perspective, Europe should be seen as part of the whole of globalisation flows filling the imagination of Europeans, as one of the main knots in which the global flows of culture, images and ideas are entangled. Therefore, the meaning of being European in a globalised world can be understood only by investigating the relationship between Europe and other symbols as modernity, development, national or ethnic identity etc. This issue will be discussed starting from an ethnographic example taken from the research I carried out in Cyprus (2013); through this example Cyprus's both post-colonial relationship with the UK and its crypto colonial one (Herzfeld 2003) with Greece will be analysed, in order to show the role of the two imagined motherlands of Greek Cypriots in shaping their image of Europe and the European Union.
Europeanization revisited. "Worlding Europe": outlines for a prospective research programme