Chasing the Past

BookChasing the Past

Chasing the Past

Geopolitics of Memory on the Margins of Modern Greece

Provence University Press


October 30th, 2019

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Since 2008, Greece has been at the centre of European current affairs due to the financial and economic crisis. However, it should not be forgotten that before the current crisis the political upheavals of the early 1990s and the collapse of Marxist-inspired regimes had already radically transformed the face of the country. These transformations have been seen as a return of the Balkans’ question, raising issues of border disputes and migration, minorities and national inclusion. They have had far-reaching consequences on the relations between Greek society and its peripheries, and what some have deemed to be its destabilising diversity. In this context, the material presented in this book examines the strengthening of discourses of belonging which draw legitimacy from a glorification of the past and tradition. The fieldwork carried out over the past 15 years on the fringes of Greece has focused on groups who were stigmatised and distanced from standard definitions of Greekness. It provides an original perspective on the changes that the country has undergone in recent decades. The question of the nation-state’s future is raised through close observation on the local scale, leading to a debate about the relationship between areal and reticular territory within the framework of globalisation. This book also aims to provide non-Francophone readers with access to research carried out on these issues in France, shifting the focus of Balkan Anglophone specialists for whom French publications remain a distant province.

‘Indeed, the time-space variations in the mobilities described in the empirical chapters of the book offer important lessons for the broader study of migration as a complex socio-spatial phenomenon.’
Russell King, Balkanologie

Author Information

Pierre Sintès is Lecturer in Geography at Aix-Marseille University.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
List of tables7
List of figures9
Shadows and light13
Memory – identity – territory as a trinity for observation18
1. Understanding Greece in the world24
The geopolitical upheavals of the 1990s25
A new intensity in international migrations and domestic mobility29
Migration Studies in the Balkans: a multiplicity of perspectives35
Towards new fields of research40
Locality as an indicator of globalisation46
2. Conflictual memories and migration between Greece and Albania49
Migration seen from above49
Discovering relational space56
(Re)discovering the link beyond otherness64
Migration, transnational relationships and minority issues in Greece68
A new survey deep within the margins73
Landscape and places: relating the conflict or ‘silencing the past’?83
A never-ending fragmentation?91
3. The Jewish community of Rhodes: a revitalised fragment of the Greek mosaic97
Historic fragments of Aegean Andalusia98
A community of memory104
Juderia rediscovered111
The Jewish past in action116
The grindings of memory126
Towards a successful heritage status: tourism as an ally?132
Counter-memory and local feeling140
4. Mobilities, heritage and the construction of border territories145
Return to Thesprotia147
Reminiscences of ‘home’ … elsewhere153
‘New rural communities’ and changing lifestyles161
‘Good patrimonial practices’ in Macedonia163
Nymfaio: tourism as a sole perspective?165
Creating order, starting projects172
The border as a new locus for resources?176
Geopolitics and cross-border cooperation180
5. Rescaling power in an era of globalisation184
From roots to pastures new185
Losing the border and regaining memory(ies)189
From transformation in the ways of inhabiting place to the mobilisation of memory: territorial impact193
Using locality to gain ‘roots and wings’195
Effects of globalisation?198
Institutional back-up for an alternative recourse to the past200
‘Glocalised’ processes?203
Scales of globalisation in the Balkans207
Glossary of ethnonimes and other specific terms218