Accepted Paper:

The political/ethnic border: from Utopia to Heritage  


Arbnora Dushi (Institute of Albanology - Prishtina)

Paper short abstract:

The topic of our paper will be the attitude towards political/ethnic border, respectively the transformation way of border concept - from utopia that produced in the past to a heritage that marks today - as a result of movements of social and political changes that passed Albanians in the Balkans.

Paper long abstract:

Political border that surrounded the state of Albania for more than half a century (1948 - 1990) left many part of the Albanian lands and population to belong to the neighboring states. The political border, which caused the separation of ethnic population, soon had received the status of the ethnic border. It divided the ethnic population on "we" and "they". This separation caused impossibility on communication and thus produced prejudices, illusions, dreams and utopia for the lands and the people across the border, in both sides of it. But today when the border is only formal, the memory about the time when was there, is only a heritage.

In our paper we will treat the border area between Albania and the new state of Kosovo, which will try to look as the product of a utopia in past real time, but also as the product of a collective memory today, which presents a rich national heritage. What has made changing of its status from utopia to heritage? For whom that border was painful reality and for whom is only a check point? The concept of political/ethnic border to Albanian themselves, on both sides, changed from those who experienced to the subsequent generations, as a result of movements of social and political change, which passed Albanians in the Balkans. Ways of transforming the concept of this border to the local mentality, by referring to the personal narratives, will be the subject of our paper.

Panel Mig006
Border control policies and borderland social practices