Dua Lipa, the highly popular British-born pop singer, has been widely condemned on social media after showing her support for a “Greater Albania” that includes areas of Serbia like Kosovo and the Preševo Valley, areas of Montenegro, and the Greek island of Corfu and southern Epirus, as reported by Greek City Times.
(of an inhabitant of a place) indigenous rather than descended from migrants or colonists pic.twitter.com/OD9bNmLcZ4
— DUA LIPA (@DUALIPA) July 19, 2020
She wrote “au•toch•tho•nous adjective (of an inhabitant of a place) indigenous rather than descended from migrants or colonists,” without even realising the Greek etymology of the word – autochthon (of the land itself), from auto- (self) + chthon (earth, land).
After being slammed by social media users and reported in international media for her ultra-nationalism, the singer has made a poor attempt to whitewash her historical manipulation.
“My previous post was never meant to incite any hate. It makes me sad and angry that my post has been willfully misinterpreted by some groups and individuals who promote ethnic separatism, something I completely reject,” she said on Twitter.
A strange proposition considering she wants the Greek island of Corfu that has no Albanian population and southern Epirus that is overwhelmingly Greek and always has been, to be a part of a “Greater Albania.”
“Whenever I post about Kosovo, my feed goes crazy, even if it’s about something as joyful as food or music, and I am met with a fierce resistance to the idea of an authentic Kosovan culture,” she continued to say.
There are of course several problems with this statement.
Dua Lipa was not making a post about only Kosovo, but about a “Greater Albania” that includes other parts of Serbia, Montenegro and Greece. It is an outright lie that her social media post was only about Kosovo.
The other issue with her statement is that there is no “authentic Kosovan culture.”
Rather, the dominant culture of Kosovo today is Gheg Albanian, and the traditional and historical culture of Kosovo is Serbian, which still exists there. And more ingenuous, her social media post was nothing about culture, but about territorial expansionism.
“We all deserve to be proud of our ethnicity and where we are from. I simply want my country to be represented on a map and to be able to speak with pride and joy about my Albanian roots and my mother country. I encourage everyone to embrace their heritage and to listen and learn from each other. Peace, love and respect to all – Dua X,” the singer convincingly concluded.
Once again, if she “simply” wants her “country to be represented on a map,” why does it include the Greek island of Corfu and southern Epirus?
— DUA LIPA (@DUALIPA) July 21, 2020
She attempted to whitewash the fact that she endorses Albania’s territorial expansionism into Greece by claiming she was only expressing her own culture.
Even before Dua Lipa made an attempt to try and justify her support for Albanian territorial expansionism into Greece, legendary female Greek singer Kaiti Garbi slammed the British-born Albanian singer.
not in accordance with history or with historical analysis,” Garbi said on Twitter.
not in accordance with history or with historical analysis. https://t.co/CuhK12Nucs
— Kaiti Garbi (@KaitiGarbi) July 20, 2020
Albanian nationalists like Dua Lipa claim that they are “indigenous” to the lands posted as a photo in the singer’s original tweet, but every objective academic study has found that Albanians have nothing to do with the Ancient Illyrians that lived in some of the areas claimed in “Greater Albania.”
Stefan Schumacher and Joachim Matzinger from Vienna University found that Albanian and Illyrian have little or nothing in common. Judging from the handful of Illyrian words that archaeologists have retrieved, the Albanian link has long been cherished by Albanian nationalists, reported Balkan Insight.
The theory is still taught to all Albanians, from primary school through to university. It is popular because it suggests that Albanians descend from ancient people who populated the Balkans long before the Slavs and whose territory was “unfairly” stolen by these later incomers.
“You’ll find the doctrine about the Illyrian origin of Albanians everywhere,” Matzinger muses, “from popular to scientific literature and schoolbooks. There is no discussion about this, it’s a fact. They say, ‘We are Illyrians’ and that’s that,” he adds.
Pandeli Pani, a Tirana-born academic at Jena University in Germany, said that despite the communist regime of Enver Hoxha to indoctrinate the Albanians’ with their Illyrian origins into the nation’s consciousness, the theory has become increasingly anachronistic.
“The political pressure in which Albania’s scientific community worked after the communist took over, made it difficult to deal with flaws with the doctrine of the Illyrian origin,” he said.
But while the Illyrian theory no longer commands universal support, it hasn’t lost all its supporters in Albanian academia.