Chapter 8. Ilinden

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In the period of transition since independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, Macedonian national identity has been highly contested. The discourse (r)evolving around the commemoration of the Macedonian national day, Ilinden, may be viewed as an arena where such challenges are addressed. By analyzing excerpts from the print media, this chapter aspires to show how challenges facing the Macedonian community and their identity are interpreted, and how solutions to them are negotiated through constructions of continuity between past, present, and future in the Ilinden discourse. The focus will be on periods during which potential disruptions of the continuity of the national identity have been especially strong. The notion of continuity with the Ilinden past has rendered understandable and acceptable the massive social, economic, and political changes that the Macedonian community has undergone. Although this Ilinden matrix appears to be fixed, primarily its resilience and flexibility have ensured its continuing importance.


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