Accepted paper:

Translocal identification: case study of Muslim migrants from Macedonia in Italy

Authors:

Karolina Bielenin-Lenczowska (University of Warsaw)
Anna Zadrożna (University of Oslo)

Paper short abstract:

In this paper we discuss the impact of migration on various identifications of the Muslim migrants from Macedonia in northern Italy. Presenting different personal stories we contemplate the meanings of "identity" and identification in their ethnic, national, and (trans)local dimensions.

Paper long abstract:

In this paper we contemplate the impact of migration on identifications among the migrants from Macedonia in Italy. However tradition of labor migration from the Balkans to other (nowadays mostly western) countries is long, today its` character have changed from seasonal to temporary, involving all families. A few cities in northern Italy, where we have been conducting our fieldwork, became a host places for migrants from various parts in Macedonia. Coming from the assumption, that "identity" is processual and relational we discuss on identifications which appear in the context of (trans)migration. In Macedonia, most of our informants would declare themselves as Muslims, sometimes as Turks, Albanians, or Torbeshes, and one "identity" often does not exclude the other. Apart from language and origin, religion in Macedonia often co-determine identifications as "our" Muslims and "they" Orthodox. Talking on various identifications we stress the importance of the feeling of belonging and emergence of we-ness. How being on migration influence the recognition of "we" and "our"? Can we talk about transnational transfer of identifications, or rather reshaping the "identity" boundaries? Presenting various personal stories we discuss the meanings of national, ethnic, and local identities in their transnational context. We describe various strategies of identifications and reflect on their gender aspect. Thus, we contemplate the meanings of "identity" and identification in their ethnic, national, and (trans)local dimensions.

panel MMM17
Migration, culture and identity construction