Cultural Institution Blesok • Established 1998
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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 35 | volume VII | March-April, 2004



                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 35March-April, 2004
Gallery Reviews

Globalization and Identity

p. 1
Emil Aleksiev

    Between the local and the global, between the national and the universal, between the need to preserve one's own identity and the need to be part of the large cultural synthesis of the West, the Macedonian arts has been roaming for over a century.

    The deep and substantial social changes that had been shaking Macedonia in the 19th century, accelerated the course of history. By adopting the European cultural values and civilization achievements, the traditional way of living was abandoned and the entire attitude was changed. It was the time of the birth of the “contemporary myth about Europe”, which narrowed to the concept of the West as a place of fulfilled human happiness and welfare, opening the optimistic perspectives of a quick progress. And, while in the middle of this century the process of Europeisation, especially emphasized in the urban centers, had been gradually taking all the spheres of social life, strong resistance occurred against the tempest that threatened to seize Macedonia. The Macedonian intellectuals of that time were asking the question of how to reach Europe, and at the same time preserve their own identity, how to preserve themselves from the foreign language and culture, how to become part of the world and remain their own.

    The moment when all these dramatic changes occurred gave rise to the initial and pointed interest for their own tradition. It was the beginning of a struggle for searching and defining the authenticity of their own cultural past that, acquiring the dimensions of a kind of a national cultural program, turned into a bloody battle for the present and the future. The folklore, where the meaning of our historic persistence in time is concentrated, acquired the significance of a spring that led an entire generation of Macedonian enlighteners, writers, poets and revolutionaries, in the search for their own identity. The awareness that this sum of values that this people has created and preserved from destruction and oblivion, makes its cultural heritage – the national essence, the customs, the verbal tradition considered as a birth certificate, as a negation of the false documents issued by the occupiers who tired to hide what we are -defines and directs the already open process of national constituting.

    The sharp cut by the end of the 19th century broke all the ties that had been connecting the Macedonian art with the millennial tradition. The civic art died, but soon the

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