Can we talk about a unified Europe or a European identity? Can we observe a distinct Balkan identity emerging in films over the last two decades?
Taking inspiration from the Balkans Beyond Borders Film Festival theme this year, “Tagged in a changing world”, BBB organized a roundtable with a title – question: “Europeanization of the Balkans?” The Round Table took place as parallel activity of the Festival on Friday, 16 of December at 15:00 to 18:00.
The roundtable proposed a discussion on the production of a collective post-national identity in contemporary Balkan cinema, in the aim to define the notion of a Balkan collective identity and/or a collective European identity. As the festival takes place in Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital city, it seems very suitable to discuss the issues surrounding the creation and changing of national and regional identities, in particular the Balkan identity.
Through this interactive discussion, participants came in contact with how certain film productions over the last two decades have created and deconstructed a visual rhetoric of European integration. Especially as many of the countries in the Balkan Peninsula are an integral part of the European Union, while the others continue negotiating their entrance.
The Round Table discussed the questions below:
In this political, social and economic reality, can we still speak of the Balkans as a unitary, imaginary space?
On the other hand, can we talk about a unified Europe or a European identity? Can we observe a distinct Balkan identity emerging in films over the last two decades?
How different is this Balkan identity confronted to that of the European imaginary identity?
By analysing certain films and their visual and narrative tropes, the Round Table provided interpretations on how these two identities are constructed, confronted and negotiated through cinema.
Gergana Doncheva, PhD, Institute of Balkan Studies, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Miruna Troncotă, Lecturer at National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Postdoctoral Researcher (SNSPA, Romania), BBB Ambassador for Romania, Writer
Presentation: The Western Balkans as ‘the New Other’ of Europe
Veroniki Krikoni, Project Manager, European Cultural Studies
Presentation: Tagged in a changing world through the lenses of Mama Europa
Andronika Martonova, PhD, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Art Studies
To register for the roundtable please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with theme BBB roundtable participation stating: Name, nationality, age, profession, reason of interest (100 words max). As there is limited number of positions, registration is required. There will be a priority list. No participation fee. The discussion will be held in English.