History broke me before I was born; therefore, I came to this world with suspicion. It seems as though I have emerged from a Balkanic after-dream waking up with confusion sweat. A broken land would be the definition of my identity. Many realms are offered to me; should I be the Don Quixote of these abandoned fields or the psychopathic leader of contemporary communism? My body parts have different passports, my soul different religions; my religion different sects and my tongue spells different tastes. Nevertheless, this brokenness brings a coexistence of diversity, meaning a heart of tolerance.
Today in our peninsula we face the Myths of Balkans, you would immediately think of some kind of heroic legend of immortal men and maidens in danger, well not, it makes you cry when you think of it, on how stupid they appear. Actually the so-called phraseological word “Myth of Balkans” is a well-chosen euphemism for all the crimes, hatred and conflicts of our dearly Balkans. To some “Balkans” would have meant blood and honey; a perfect paradigm for “sweet death”. It is rich of history and ethnicity but poor on civilization; what remains to me is to reach the pinnacle of its grandeur and escape from such escapism that would turn me into a chimerical mind.
With the invasion of South-East Europe by the Ottoman Empire in the 14th Century began a harsh destiny, you would think that that was a chance where collaboration and same purpose could get us together against the foreign rule. However, the local rulers were seduced by intrigues and betrayals and they could not manage such survival. And again with the fall of this oriental empire we showed thirst for chaos and lands of neighboring countries. As Christian countries, where even Paul and Titus have preached the word of God they would desperately break two specific laws; the Moses one: “Don’t desire the things of others” and the New Testament passage: “Love your enemy” and this is enough for me to be objective in my issue.
It is a sick sado-masochism where the downtrodden would transform into an enormous monster of oppression much worse than the one before. Enemy has no name except politics. There were several treaties during those years, which I laze to remind. Those treaties served to give a solution which had its effects decades later with Bosnia and Kosovo and some sleepy volcanoes that didn’t explode but produced a kinda Cold War hatred. But I decide to not let this issue receive an apotheosis as then I would show weakness, I believe in a broken heart; as then man realizes he is strong. As people of this lofty peninsula we are enough broken hearted to show strength in giving love to each other.
What if Balkans shall not be anymore an elegy accompanied by the lute’s cry and its memorials a poetic epitaph contest in a graveyard. I believe that as years are passing we are becoming less ignorant, we are knowing each other more. Lately we had a concert of Goran Bregovic and his Orchestra of Weddings and Funerals. His image conducted me humbleness and love. He was a perfect man for my example. Half Serb, half Croatian, married with a Muslim woman, respecting the gypsy music in his works. What better case of lack of discrimination and nationalism can there ever be. And he would speak about how the people in the Balkans didn’t know each other’s cultures and would destroy such a valuable heritage.
DON’T FORGET SREBRENICA, 2003, Sarajevo
Beyond the lines
Living in Albania I have found a long influence from Italian culture and life at that point that I would know Italy more than Albania though I never visited it. And I have always had a curiosity on what’s beyond those mountains, what’s towards the East? Is it different or we have many things in common? We expect EU to understand us, to make a therapy at us after all the tiredness from wars, communism and dictatorships when we could be the perfect one to comprehend each other. We have seen how myths have fallen though the control power was great enough to shut our mouths.
If we look at the EU as a better life for our countries, well it is an attraction that would merge the apathy of our countries into a better relationship. It seems as EU is a future nostalgia that we long to enjoy. Hope we make the right decisions in the right time. 2006 is a year of big struggles and needs from us the will to accept the changes. Kosovo will be free, Montenegro also and other countries will try to get the “Visa” for destination EU.
All falls down
All the dictatorships fall down time by time and there can’t be anymore inherited violence “from father to son”. It is a contradiction that follows the people around here. Being so passionate and full of vitality they would have chosen to eat from the wrong tree. The forbidden tree. As Marquez would have spoken in his book “One Hundred Years of Solitude” how dictatorships, violence and people fell and nothing remained from their history. Let’s be wiser than our forefathers on this issue, at least there will be something to be reminded of in this new millennium.
“I don’t think of
all the misery
but of the beauty
that still remains.”