Western Balkans and EU - Part 41

posted by julia on 2007/09/30 17:46

[ Western Balkans and EU ]

I just read an advertisement for a conference entitled From Emigrant to Immigrant Cultures: New Migrations in the Balkans and the Mediterranean (Long Beach/California, April 2008, more info below) and thought it might be interesting to conduct research on the Chinese diaspora in Kosovo, Serbia, Bosnia... "While it may be too early to discuss established migrant or hybrid cultures in these nations..." - Well, I think, it is not too early, as there are already well-established Chinese shops and restaurants in Pristina, and outside Sarajevo there is a real "Chinatown". "How does the host culture respond to the presence of the immigrant, or is their presence ignored and why?" is a question I often wondered about. Indeed, the Chinese presence seems to be more or less ignored by the local population (except by people who occasionally buy in Chinese shops), and I cannot detect any particular interest in the Chinese culture or language on the Kosovar or Bosnian side... Maybe because they are seen as transitory guests migrating on towards the EU? Interesting topic anyway.

We invite paper proposals for the accepted panel at the next ACLA meeting at Long Beach,
California, April 24-27 2008:

From Emigrant to Immigrant Cultures:
New Migrations in the Balkans and the Mediterranean

The countries of Southeastern Europe and the Mediterranean have historically contributed
large immigrant populations to industrialized nations. However, with the fall of
Communism and abolition of internal EU borders many of these nations find themselves at
the receiving end of global migrations. Italy and Greece, for example, first faced the
bursting of the barriers of the Albanian Communist isolation and have since become
preferred destinations of global migrations. In the Balkans most nations find themselves in
the paradoxical situation: while the domestic population is still leaving their fragile
economies, due to their affiliations with the EU they attract considerable immigrant
populations. Such migratory exchanges create a climate relatively new to these cultures
that until recently defined themselves in terms of homogeneity and exclusivity.

While it may be too early to discuss established migrant or hybrid cultures in these
nations, we are interested in exploring the emerging awareness and recognition of the
newly created cultural situation. How does the host culture respond to the presence of the
immigrant, or is their presence ignored and why? How visible are migrant authors on the
cultural scene of their chosen cultures? Who are their audiences? How do they overcome
the language barrier? We invite papers that present the ways in which the cultural
production in the region articulates exile, immigrant and post-immigrant identities,
negotiates racism and prejudice, responds to ethnocentric homogeneity of host cultures,
overcomes linguistic barriers and reaches broader audiences (or not).

Please send 200-word abstracts by January 31 2008 to Tatjana Aleksic at
atatjana@umich.edu and Caterina Romeo at romeo.caterina@gmail.com


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SEE-EU

This weblog is a forum for discussion on the political and social processes linked to EU integration in the Western Balkans. We would also like to use this space to create a virtual network of researchers on this topic. You are most welcome to contribute to this weblog with comments, postings, links, or photos. Please use the "add comment" function at the end of each posting!
All photos by the Photo Arts Collective of Kosovo. First photo by Burim Myftiu (Swimming olympiade in Klina). Second photo by Mimoza. Third photo by Dashmir Izairi.
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