Page 115 - MIGRATION

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MIGRATION, MEMORY, HERITAGE: SOCIO-CULTURAL
APPROACHES TO THE BULGARIAN-TURKISH BORDER
What is more, K. M. himself acknowledges and recognizes himself as someone occupying
a position of dominance in those fields – “they wouldn’t replace me” (with regard to electing a
new president of the youth society), “they only come to talk to me and the rest get annoyed” (in
relation to the media’s attention to him and the “annoyance” of “other”
nestinari
at the fact), “I don’t
want to compete because I always win” (with respect to different folklore events), “I must organize
something” (with regard to the celebration of an important holiday related to Thracian memory
and heritage), “without me nobody gets to work” (in relation to the society’s activities), etc.
These discursive segments present only snippets of the ways in which K. M. has a sense of
“his own place” and “the place of others” in the discursive field which produces the discourse on
‘Thracian heritage”. And if in the case of Dilyana/Aishe, which I will discuss later on as an example
of contradictory inheritance on the other side of the border, we are faced with a radical refusal to
accept this inheritance, questioning the form of inheritance itself, here I see manifestations of the
opposite tendency – to
completely accept inheritance
to such a degree that there is evidence of
perfect and non-contradictory overlap between social and biographical trajectories. In our case
in point here,
‘to-be-an-inheritor-of-Thracian-Bulgarians’ as a social form of identity
26
has
become biographical
orderli
. The “contradiction of inheritance” in the case of “K. M.” is connected
with the sequence in which the strategies of “inheriting” inheritance (“inheritance” as a meaningful
and significant marker of being in the group of Thracian inheritors – “A”) and the strategies for
“taking advantage” of inheritance (“inheritance” as a means of accomplishing personal practical
goals – “a”) completely match (i.e. “A”=“a”). This is the root of K.M.’s
seeming charisma
insofar as
we are talking about a case of double play “along the rules against the rules” whereby we have
structural homology between “a” (i.e. one’s specific practical interests) and “A” (the overall ideology
of the Thracian idea and heritage).
The subsequent field observations conducted in the summer of 2011 revealed the
dynamics of this empirical case study. It was rather brave on my part to hypothetically define K.
M. as “seemingly” charismatic in 2010 (there was hardly a respondent who would be anything but
personally attached and/or inspired by his activities), but my initial hypothesis was confirmed
by my field observations in 2011, which merits an independent analysis. For the time being I will
simply signpost the following: in this case study, we are talking about instrumentalization of K.M.’s
charisma to the effect of gradually “cooling” that charisma (Weber would say “demystifying”) with
time. That in which everybody saw the “value” of K. M., i.e. that which everybody regarded as “a
charm, a charisma” gradually acquired a life of its own and became habitual experience, became
an
orderli
which is seen as a “mystic objective quality of the face”, as an immanent principle “in
itself”, which K. M.
employs
to accomplish his own practical aims (that which Bourdieu defines as
“the oracle effect” in
Language and Symbolic Power
). As a result, a year later, this charisma had been
transformed into a number of other forms of affective relation on behalf of his counter-agents –
from preservation of en-charm, through in-difference, to outspoken hatred and distaste; a change
which is by far not harmless, insofar as it manifests itself and generates its effects and affects both
26 In our case becoming-what-you-are as a social form of identity means to inherit one’s “Thracian Bulgarian-
ness”.