Thursday, October 29, 2009

Interview with Nova Makedonija (1)

Over the past month, the book I co-authored with my colleague and friend Umut Özkırımlı, Tormented by History: Nationalism in Greece and Turkey was discovered by journalists in the Republic of Macedonia. The reason for this interest is our discussion of the territorial expansion of the Greek state and the way nationalism informed the relevant process as well as our discussion of the minorities issue. To date, our work has been featured in countless media that support the government and the opposition, and in the past two weeks I have given four interviews and received a lot of ‘fan’ mail from Macedonia.

Many Macedonian readers are just satisfied that a Greek academic has explicitly acknowledged the process of Hellenization of the Ottoman province of Macedonia during the first part of the 20ieth century but are unaware of the fact that Hellenization was one of the many opposing projects imposed on the inhabitants of Macedonia by the Bulgarian, Serbian and later the Yugoslav Federation and the elites of the Republic of Macedonia. I should point out we are not pioneers in this respect as a series of Greek academics have been forthcoming on these issues.

More readers, however, write to express their frustration that the future of the two countries (Greece and Macedonia) is determined by calculating nationalist elites and this is the most encouraging outcome of the interest in our book.

The reason for reproducing in my next entry the English (unedited) version of my interview with Nova Makedonija has to do with the misunderstandings that some Macedonian and Greek readers have proved to be prone to – proof that a lot of work lies ahead in the effort to challenge the domination of nationalist imaginaries over our daily phenomenologies. Macedonian readers readily see the terms ‘the population of Macedonia’, or ‘local inhabitants’ as interchangeable with ‘Macedonians’ or ‘Macedonian minority’ and treat these ahistorically. Greek readers have difficulty perceiving the fact that Macedonian identity has been around for over a century and that no matter how ‘artificial’ or engineered it may be, it is still real enough for those who call themselves Macedonians. As the Macedonian text has been edited primarily due to space restrictions and as the translation from English to Macedonian has unavoidably entailed some misunderstanding, I thought it would be helpful to provide the entire interview text.


  1. Papathanassiou EvangelosOctober 30, 2009 at 11:50 AM

    "Βecause only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle" (Aeschylus)

    Papathanassiou Evangelos,
    Archaeologist, First Rank

  2. Papathanassiou EvangelosOctober 30, 2009 at 12:05 PM

    We, in Greece, are not grass-eaters..We know well under whose auspicies the notorious "Balkan Reconciliation and EU Integration..." is and what exactly means... All the rest are blank-ink waste-cover...We are going to fight the New Order till the last one, as our tradition calls!

  3. Papathanassiou EvangelosOctober 31, 2009 at 4:30 AM

    ΕU should learn at last that is not moral to discuss with fascists, or to be so eager to "hug" and "integrate" fascists, like the VMRO-Gruefski regime! If this is ...european tradition, then thanks a lot, I declare myself a not european! Europe and NATO bombardized Serbs in Kossovo, ressurected a protected statelet there,following Mussolini's steps (Independent Kossovo under Italian Axis Occupation, 1941-1944). USA and their EU servants created another puppet stetelet, this of Povardarje (aka Pseudomacedonija, or Majmundonija), just to create a military base and a trouble maker in Balkans, threatening the Balkan peace and stability, legalising also Stalin's policies in Balkans (as they have done in the case of Georgia versus Abhazia and Southern Osetia). We reassure the world that Greece is not going to be the victim,the country which although being in the winning side in the World War II, will pay, the only one, the delayed consequences of Stalinism. Although its sacrifice of hundreds of thousands militants and civilians because of stalinistc conspiracy and stalinistic terrorism against it (1943-1949). So, the New Order may have plans for the region, but without asking the inn-keeper...As situation has been formed there is one and only realistic solution left for the stability in Balkans: the permanent partition of povardarjan puppet fascist statelet between the four neighboring countries: Bulgaria, Albania, Serbia, Greece. This way also the oppressed and half assimilated ethnic minorities will found their natural homelands, and peace will be established...The 200.000 VMRO members who will insist in considering themselves "Macedonians" could be given land in Alaska by their patrons. We will not jeopardise the peace for 40 million of people just for the sake of a new-born fascistic ethnogenetic mythology of a bunch of fascist idiots! Period!