mardi, 14 septembre 2021|

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"Si nje trup i vetem" ( As one single body) : Power, the “Dictatorial Situation” and Albanian society

The atmosphere in one of the venues of the steel factory “ Celiku i Partisё” in Elbasan, fired up by the enthusiastic cheers and applauses of the young delegates of the 7th congress of the Albanian Youth Labor Union (BRPSH), when in September 1977, the dictator, Enver Hoxha, reached the podium to address with a speech the work of the congress. After underlining the achievements and the contributions of Albanian Youth Labour Union in building socialism, among other things, Enver Hoxha, stated the following : “For you, young comrades, a beautiful life is a head, because as for this beautiful life built as well as for the future one, which will be even more beautiful, you have poured sweat and blood, you have put the youthful strength of your muscles, creative thinking, knowledge and love that springs from you burning hearts…You are made of special steel, just as the exceptional communist steel, you are unbreakable, as are the communists. You are as such because you are the offspring of a glorious and heroic people. You are as such because our Labor Party feeds you everyday with the everlasting Marxist-Leninist ideology, it has tempered you in work and life, and it has taught you in applying theory to praxis. The Party has trusted you to lead the affairs of the State, economy, army, culture and science…This is our compact, steel-like strength and bond, in front of which enemies smash their heads…The Party and youth, unified as one single body with the people, no power in the world tears them apart.” The concept “as one single body” during state-socialism in Albania was very much used by the party leadership, in many occasions as illustrated above, to symbolically underline the organic (mechanic) unity between the Party, the State, and Albanian society as a whole. It could be suggested, that in itself, the notion of unity upon which dictators often build their public discourses while addressing people and society reflects the continual, delicate and dialectical relationship within “the one to the many,” between the will to govern and the subject to be governed, between state and society, not only during state-socialism but modernity in general. Therefore by drawing on this tensional relationship that the concept implies, the proposed atelier, aims, firstly, to explore, the symbolic usage of the body in scientific, literary, and artistic discourses during the state-socialism facet of modernity in Albanian society. Secondly, building on ethnographic data, the discussants analyses will attempt to examine the way(s) in which the symbolic representations of the body helps us to understand the form(s) that power takes while shaping people’s body and soul in everyday life, as well as society, in a “dictatorial situation.”

Atelier discussants and proposed themes for discussion :

Bodies of the power, bodies in front of the power : two sides of the Albanian dictatorship phenomenon Alment Muho Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tirana.

Sacred Body, Profane Souls : The case of a funeral in atheist Albania. Nebi Bardhoshi Department of Ethnology, Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Arts Study, Tirana

Public Rituals of Forgiveness : National Unity and the Sphere of Kinship Nita Luci Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Prishtina.

“We are the heroes” : Youth, the state and “corporal” pedagogy in Albania during real-socialism. Olsi Lelaj Department of Ethnology, Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Arts Study, Tirana.