Page 126 - MIGRATION

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MIGRATION, MEMORY, HERITAGE: SOCIO-CULTURAL
APPROACHES TO THE BULGARIAN-TURKISH BORDER
entertainment, etc., but also the Turkish tutors she helps with translation, with finding contacts in
Bulgaria, etc.; the relatives and friends; her husband in Bulgaria; her mother in Turkey; the Bulgarian
mother-in-law at whose hotel she works as a translator; the Russian Jews in Antalia where she used
to work; the years in Israel where she learnt Hebrew; the subsequent learning of Bulgarian again via
the spoken Russian she learnt while working in the leather shop, and so on and so forth.
This is the way she
acts
performatively inside the “no man’s” social space,
influencing
its
borders and structures and
imposing
on it her own boundaries. This is how she is different from
the other empirical cases. In one way or another, they all accept “inheritance” – even the case of
Lela reveals that she fully accepts the necessity of inheriting (as the choice to migrate and settle
in Turkey that her parents made, i.e. ‘to-be-a-Turk-there’). The very fact that she cannot do it fully
and unconditionally leads to dramatic and affective experiences for her, but she does not deny the
necessity to inherit inheritance – she reproduces again and again the very form of inheritance (to
start working in Turkey, to marry “a boy of ours, an out-migrant”, to give birth to a child “there”).
With Dilyana/Aishe “the contradiction of inheritance” amounts to her refusal to “accept”
inheriting it. Along such lines, it is an essential contradiction by virtue of the fact that it questions
the very form of inheriting – in practice she refuses ‘to-inherit-what-she-is-supposed-to-become’
and becomes a unique amalgam of non-normalized phenomenal layers of
Bulgarian-ness
and
Turkish-ness
. She is always told ‘what-she-should-do-in-view-of-that-which-she-should-become-
when-she-accepts-inheritance’ (for example, the normative position of her mother who insists
Dilyana/Aishe “return” and finally accept her “true” essence), yet from the position of her specific
strangeness she ‘does-what-she-wants-to-do-being-that-which-she-has-chosen-to-become-and-
rejects-inheritance’.
In every phase of her biographical trajectory she has to
suppress
(in the psychoanalytical
sense) a specific social experience (to forget Bulgarian language, so as to graduate from a Turkish
high school; to learn Bulgarian again, so as to “return across the border”, etc.). We see how that
which is suppressed provokes a whole chain of practices and strategies which allow her to glue
together the fragmentation in her biographical
illusio
– worked in Antalia, left for Israel, worked for
a bit in Italy, returned to Bulgaria, but her home town was too small, so she moved toVarna, worked
as a tour guide, traveled the world, got married to a Bulgarian Christian, started higher education
at the age of 32, returned to Turkey as a “Bulgarian” student and so on and so forth. These are all
heterodoxic experiences and examples of liminality and transgression, examples of “living”
on
the
border and
in
the border. All the separate phases testify to dysfunctions of biographical
illusio
,
i.e. the loss of its temporality and its transformation into an illusion. At a certain point though,
the suppressed returns “triumphantly” (cf. Deyanov 2011) –
Dilyana/Aishe has succeeded in
overcoming the discontinuity in her biographical experience and biographical illusion
becomes again biographical
illusio
(regaining temporality).
The fact that she has successfully regained her
illusio
means that she has successfully
become “an inheritor of herself” or “an heiress to herself”.
In other words, in this case, similarly to the case of K.M., we encounter a form of
supernormality
” understood in terms of the “Other” of abnormality. Yet there is also a significant