Ermolin D. S. Symbolic Nation-building and Cultural Landscape of Kosovo Cities at the Turn of the Twenty First Century

Denis S. Ermolin
Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Saint Petersburg, Russia


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УДК 394(497)
DOI 10.31250/2618-8619-2020-1(7)-188-198


ABSTRACT. The paper discusses current strategies in the transformation of cultural landscape in postwar Kosovo. I regard cultural landscape, i. e. a piece of Earth’s surface deliberately shaped by man, as an extension of the so-called socially constructed reality (P. Berger & Th. Luckmann). In some cases, this symbolization is a strategic part of a nation-building project or just a way to declare one’s own presence, identity or affiliation. The creation of new heroes is one of the initial steps within the strategies of a nation-building process, as it forms an essential prerequisite for the feeling of common and shared history. The article analyzes the scope of personalities symbolically welcomed in Kosovo. The Republic of Kosovo is de jure a multi-ethnic society consisting of Albanian and other communities, and this is the way it is commonly perceived. However, the current strategies of symbolic nation-building appear to deeply contradict with the declared aspiration to build a common state and national identity among the peoples living in Kosovo. Therefore, my aim is to look into the strategies of memorialization in postwar Kosovo, focusing on this balancing between civic (as desired) and ethnic (as realized de facto) models of nation-building.


KEYWORDS: Balkans, Kosovo, Pristina, symbolic nation-building, commemoration strategies, urban space, cultural landscape, ethnic communities



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