Page 123 - MIGRATION

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MIGRATION, MEMORY, HERITAGE: SOCIO-CULTURAL
APPROACHES TO THE BULGARIAN-TURKISH BORDER
is given to her, she succeeds in eventually achieving non-contradictory ontological complicity
between her biographical and social trajectories. In other words, she succeeds in overcoming a
number of contradictions of inheritance, piecing together the fragments of“biographical illusion”by
means of different forms of compromising, which emerged in the process of suppressing otherness
as practical experience, and establishing her new and non-contradictory “biographical
illusio
”.
30
3.1.3. Breaking with inheritance and rejecting its acceptance, whereby what is
questioned is the very essence of the form of “inheritance: here the contradictions of
inheritance are entailed in its form
The case of Dilyana/Aishe
31
Dilyana/Aishe was born and grew up in a town in the north-east of Bulgaria. At the time
of the renaming process of Bulgarian Turks and their migration to the Republic of Turkey she was
about 13 years old. She tells her story in a compelling and easy-going manner (as if it is a story one
knows by heart and is telling again and again
32
) about the memories from the “Big Excursion” – the
urgency of packing; the search for transport (a whole bus which the father of Dilyana/Aishe secured
on the black marker for his family of four members and which was driven by a Bulgarian in return
of a “modest amount”of 1500 BGN, i.e. about an annual average salary); the crossing of the border;
staying at her aunt’s in Bursa in“inhuman conditions with plastic wraps on the windows of a house
under construction”; ‘the summer of her discontent’ during which she had to forget Bulgarian and
learn literary Turkish in the course of three months, so that she could enroll in the next year and not
repeat a form at the Turkish school; the ugly memories – both of leaving the Bulgarian school and
of entering the Turkish school (“and they [Bulgarian classmates] told me, “Go away, dirty Turks, we
don’t want you here, go back to Turkey”, and when I went to Turkey they called me “Bulgarian” and
“giaour’… and I don’t know what I am and where my place is”).
These“compressed”details which saturated her story about moving to a“foreign place” later
on, as her story unfolds, get rarefied
33
and acquire the shape of enumerated facts: graduating high
school in Turkey, settling in the new place, her parents buying a flat, the marriage of her brother,
the birth of her niece. What one notices, however, but only retroactively, i.e. in the inevitable
subsequent formalization of the live story into a transcribed interview, is the following fact: the
interesting events in the life of Dilyana/Aishe always appear in her story “by the way” – like flashes
30 On “biographical illusion”, see Bourdieu
Practical Reason
(1997); on biographical
illusio
and its relation to
“biographical illusion” see Deyanov 2001.
31 As we will see later on, the very name in its specific dual unity is an instrument for my analysis. This is the
reason why, so as to preserve the anonymity of my informant, I am not using a pseudonym or initials, but choose to
construct this specific dual unity by means of fictional names which are indicative of the degree of popularity of the
Turkish and Bulgarian name respectively. The field observations were collected together with Meglena Zlatkova and
submitted in the archives of IEFSEM.
32 On the process of “standardization of re-settlement narratives”and their role in“constructing a positive group
image of the re-settlers of 1989” see Elchinova 2012.
33 I intentionally use “rarefied”, alluding to the “rarefication” of discourse in the sense attributed by Foucault as
normalization (cf. Foucault 1996). Inour case, we have auto-rarefication, i.e. auto-normalizationof the autobiographical
discourse of Dilyana/Aishe.