ENTRE « BONS USAGES » ET « NOUVEAUX VOISINAGES ». FRONTIERES ET PATRIMOINES DANS LA REGION DE STRANDZHA (BULGARIE)
Études balkaniques (Sofia) 2023, N 2
University « Lumière – Lyon 2 »
Abstract: Focusing on the Bulgarian side, the article addresses the post-socialist heritage dynamics which value the border dimension of the Strandzha area, shared between Bulgaria and Turkey since 1913. Strandzha’s location at the south-eastern edges of Bulgaria, and on the delineation of the former iron curtain, has shaped the idea of an isolate, but also a natural and cultural “conservatory”, to be protected from external harms. The image of Strandzha oscillates between the two poles of a shelter-territory and a movement place, a space of autochthony and anchorage. The border symbolizes thus a spatial and cultural rip, calling for the reassertion of the “qualities” of a marginalized space. The article scrutinizes the building of a “sense of heritage” in this border area, laying on the ambivalent feelings of the loss of its geographical and cultural unity, and of its preserved authenticity against all odds. This heritage dimension resonates with the assessment of an uninterrupted decline, delayed by the state interventionism during the socialist period, but worsened by the post-socialist upheavals and posing sharp interrogations about its future.
Keywords: Border, neighborhood, territory, heritage, memory