Dropull - liminal cultures / mapping identities
Author: Saimir Kristo, Joana Dhiamandi
Affiliation: Polis University
This article investigates cultural flows between Southern Albania and Northern Greece, in the liminal territory of Epirus. In contrast to remittances, cultural flows reflect temporality, activating interaction between migrants and those who stayed behind, providing a window into the destination countries' social, cultural, and economic characteristics. Nevertheless, this article does not focus on the role and meaning of those flows in migration processes and border crossings. Due to the particular characteristics of Epirus's territory, this cultural flow does not transgress political borders and social boundaries. Still, it reflects on the liminal character of the landscape of Epirus and the region of Dropull. Such a flow does not de-construct existing relationships but de-materializes physical boundaries through a continuous reaffirmation of its liminal culture—a sensory threshold of characteristics resulting from a palimpsest of elements through time. An ambiguity of definitions that enhance the quality of all culturally embodied relationships, in this case, the inhabitants of Dropull are part of a new territory between and beyond two existing politically defined territories. This intermediate state, phase, and condition creates an in-between dimension reflected in the rich, deeply rooted culture, common language(s), and religion. All the above elements are territorially not only in terms of the natural environment and heterogeneous landscape but also in the built environment's vernacular character.