Page 125 - MIGRATION

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MIGRATION, MEMORY, HERITAGE: SOCIO-CULTURAL
APPROACHES TO THE BULGARIAN-TURKISH BORDER
Following from this, there are two paths opening before the agents, paths they need to
take so as to overcome the antinomy of these heterogeneous layers and glue them in a non-
contradictory unity. Taking one path means that those who adapt should learn in full the points of
relevance of the foreign social space and transition by means of practical induction from
“us” into
“them”, which will gradually become“we”
(the cases of “E.V.”, “F.”, and “S.K.”). Taking the other one
entails for the agent to never achieve a homogeneous experience and habitus (“Lela”). Dilyana/
Aishe, however, chooses a different path and walks between the two experiences – she creates her
own “no man’s” space in which, as I said, she imports her own social conditions for production and
use to allow herself the possibility to glue together the heterogeneous layers. And that is Dilyana/
Aishe’s personal achievement.
I intentionally chose to articulate her name in this dual manner, because, in this dual unity,
the name as a key marker of identity gradually ensures the equation between her as “Dilyana”with
her as “Aishe”, i.e. establishing a sense of identity. This unique dual unity has gradually allowed for
the heterogeneous layers to be glued together and has led to the formation of a relatively non-
contradictory doxic experience of what I called “
living on the border
”. This is how there emerges
a unique form of “strangeness”
(different from the one described by Schutz), which presupposes
simultaneously“living on”and“leaving”the border; simultaneously“going”and“returning”;
simultaneously gluing my “here” to their “there”, so as to simultaneously achieve “here/
there-being”
.
Therefore, when we discuss the case of “Dilyana/Aishe” and the unique position of
strangeness which she occupies in a number of social spaces, inhabited simultaneously by her, we
see a specific formof
transgression – that of the simultaneous“living”and“leaving”in relation
to the border and the stepping over into that “no man’s” social space which Dilyana/Aishe
herself has constructed around herself.
In this sense Dilyana/Aishe is something of a “virtuoso” in the vocabulary of Bourdieu, i.e.
a nominated active agent who is visible (“acknowledged” and “recognized”). By virtue of this she
occupies a particular “empty structural position”, which – insofar as it is retroactively seen as natural
– seems preordained for her and her only. It is not by chance that she speaks “
on behalf of
36
– she
is “authorized”, i.e. she possesses the symbolic power to do it, because she is “acknowledged” and
“recognized” by others as having the right to do so by virtue of the power which she
emits
from
herself
, but does not
absorb
in
herself
.
That, in its turn, is revealing of the ways in which Dilyana/Aishe effectively (and affectively)
influences
the agents who
act
in the particular social space – all the other Erasmus students
who follow her lead everywhere and she organizes them, takes care of them, takes care of their
you are no longer a Turk, but a Bulgarian and you find this funny”. Or in the interviewwith F., “When we came here – we
were
BulgarianTurks
, they called us “Bulgarians”– it is not so important what ethnicity you are, but after all you come
here because you are Turkish and they call you here “
you are Bulgarian
”. One cannot… who am I, who am I? I can’t
understand “who I am” - we had these problem amongs ourselves. Sometimes there were a lot…” (interview with F.).
36 For instance, “on behalf of” the eight Bulgarian students on an Erasmus exchange who studied at the time at
the University of Thrace. A. was also present at the interview, also in the capacity of a child to Bulgarian out-migrants.
Her parents returned almost immediately after migrating, when she was very young. What was characterisitic of the
situation was that A. expected Dilyana/Aishe to answer questions directed at her, while Dilyana/Aishe did not expect
any prompts and would do so “perfectly-naturally-in-the-course-of-the-conversation”.