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.
If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.
This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book shows the undeniable contribution and the limits of the biopower theory in the understanding of dead bodies en masse. It talks about the fact that criminology has for so long ignored mass crime, even though the link between the corpse and the criminal is one of the fundamentals of the discipline. The book addresses the issue of the practical and symbolic treatment of corpses by societies affected by mass violence. It shows how working ideologies along with historical legacy and geographical landscapes determined the disposal of the bodies. The book examines the simultaneously diplomatic and medicolegal nature of the activities of the French Search Commission for Corpses of Deportees in Germany. It also draws on German archives to describe the various modalities of treatment of corpses in Croatia.