Cultural Heritage and the Identity Leap Backward
The goal of this study is the identification of the disintegrative effects that the current cultural politics of the governing elite in the Republic of Macedonia has had on the cultural system in the Republic of Macedonia and our analysis is based on several sociological theories. The starting point of this paper is the idea of a leaping evolution (Veblen) which states that there is a possibility for the imposition of certain leaps in the process of evolution, taken from the cultural dynamics of other societies. The intention to create an identity leap backwards in history is recognizable in the design of the contemporary cultural politics of the Republic of Macedonia. The present national identity of the Macedonian society is being redefined in a pathetic and megalomaniac manner with reference to tradition of antiquity, on the one hand, and to non-existent connections with foreign traditions, mainly European, from the nineteenth century. Simultaneously there is a perfid methodology taking place of latently erasing the collective memory connected to a long period of our history, namely the process of migration of the Slavs on the Balkans and the long-lasting existence of this culture to this day. Our analysis is focused on the cultural politics of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia in the last decade. It shows an intensifying effort for emphasizing, reshaping and recreating certain elements of our own heritage ("inventing tradition", Hobsbawm). In the core of these endeavours there is a clearly recognizable ideological discourse, put in the function of reshaping the past and our view of it, even with methods of falsifying spiritual and material facts. Evidence for these tendencies can be found in the field of the priorities in the treatment of archaeology, conservation and presentation of the cultural heritage, in architecture and the shaping of the public space in general. The conceptual solutions designed in some of the social and humanistic sciences also allow a frame of preference of this inconsistency of the cultural politics and the creation of additional conditions for cultural trauma (Sztompka).
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