December 01 - 02, 2001,
Museum of Macedonia, Republic of Macedonia
General Idea
Photo Gallery

General Idea of the Conference

The project titled as UNDERSTANDING THE BALKANS is conceived as a challenge to examining the alteration stratum of the Balkans, concentrating strongly on questions of society, culture, art, and history. Reflections and analysis dedicated to these complex issues were examined during the Conference that took place in Ohrid, October 2000.
The project UNDERSTANDING THE BALKANS has in the past year grown from a list of participants of a Conference to a Network of intellectuals from the region, that has focused on examining the intersection of the acquired codes in the social, historical, cultural context we have used on the Balkans in our immediate past, as well as in considering the changes through which our societies, and culture, have undergone over the past decades. In preparing the publication of contributions and texts offered during the last year's Conference, we have grown to believe that there is a real Balkanic profile of practical thinking. It transpired that the Conference did not take course towards an all-embracing theorizing discourse; moreover, it was oriented towards the processes of modelling a concrete answer to those ever more diverging streams of Balkanic memories and expectations.
As a certain follow up the organizing team for the project Understanding the Balkans has selected this year the theme of THE BALKANS AND GLOBALISATION.
The questions to be discussed on the forthcoming Conference, in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia, are the effects and the effectiveness of globalisation in respect to the Balkans.
As globalisation represents an elusive term, entering the totality of factual and virtual processes in the spheres of ideology, economy, and socio-politics, researchers are urged to concentrate on the themes of:
- the practical form that the globalisation demonstrates;
- challenges posed by globalisation in the region of the Balkans - aspects of periphery and centers;
- the marginalization of the area of the Balkans - margins of the globalisation;
- the possibility of existing of rules regarding the phenomena of globalisation - global market or global desire?;
- the cultural posture of the region in respect to globalisation - between love-hate and the cautious indifference.

Further on researchers are expected to reflect on, and possibly challenge the definitions and especially practices of globalisation coming from the West about the globalisation. Are ideas about it evolving? Is globalisation an irreversible situation i.e. is globalisation just a one-way street where the mainstreaming is expected to come from the West, or does the Balkans vice versa also produce certain effects which significantly cross the threshold of the globalising phenomena, thus effecting the West, as well as the other corners of the world? What should the answers to the questions posed by globalisation be on the Balkans? Are there any Balkanic questions to be asked? Is the thesis that "if globalisation is a global situation then the answer to it should also be global" correct? Is the notion of globalisation equally understood on the Balkans as on the West, and do the notions and practices of globalisation differ considerably in various parts of the Balkans?
Who in reality has the leading role in the dealing with culture on the Balkans, in the context of globalisation? Is the State, reduced to a contributory role, and is it up to civil society, to deal with culture, or is the situation such as to that the State still represents a leading force in the dealing with this issue?



Past conference
the Balkans 2000