Jelena Tošić
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Travelling genealogies
Tracing relatedness and diversity in the Albanian–Montenegrin borderland

The chapter shows how the ‘moving’ post-socialist border between Albania and Montenegro inspired new ways of narrating families’ border-crossing past. This border, sealed for fifty years, was suddenly penetrable. Today, goods and people can travel across; families can be reunited. Energy has been invested in rediscovering and acknowledging old family ties. The chapter describes how locals are busy mapping – often, ex post facto – elaborate family genealogies, extending far into the past, in which forefathers who migrated across borders are enthusiastically included. This re-working of ancestral memory creates a (new) multi-layered past which, in turn, facilitates concrete future strategies. The kinship ties thus discovered (or invented) are invested with affect; any kin is welcome. This provides an excellent tool in the maintenance and extension of cross-border contact and patronage networks, an essential step towards future welfare. Recovered pasts through elaborated genealogies of border-crossing kin challenge and subvert polity borders and ethnic, national and religious divides.

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Migrating borders and moving times

Temporality and the crossing of borders in Europe

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