This is a brief summery of my presentation “From Transition to Antiquisation, Through and Beyond the New Media in Macedonia”. As a part of a session Transformng Cultural Industries, I`ve tried to joined the fields of archeology and cultural heritage, on one side, and the present and the New Media, on the other. The article is taken form the official blog of Glocal conference held in Skopje between 15-17 October 2009.
In the presentation “From Transition to Antiquisation, Through and Beyond the New Media in Macedonia”, Vasilka Dimitrovska joined the fields of archeology and cultural heritage, on one side, and the present and the New Media, on the other. The main focus in the presentation was on ‘antiquisation,’ a local mock-term used nowadays to ridicule some steps the Macedonian government is undertaking, such as givng an Antique name to the Skopje international airport, renaming the main highway, putting ancient statues on the main locations, etc.
“Actually, the so-called scientific argumentation in favor of the existence of the so-called antiquisation mainly took place on the web. Mostly, it was a virtual war… between those in support and those against the Government initiatives,” Vasilka stated.
Research shows that the word ‘antiquisation’ in the new media was used for the first time by the main opposition party, the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) on their web page, and the very next day it mushroomed in the daily newspapers.
While the Government is trying to ‘win the war’ for the Macedonian historical heritage by taking steps perceived as antiquisation, the archeologists appear as thoroughly indifferent in approaching the issue from their position of experts.
In conclusion, the Republic of Macedonia is neither the first nor the last country that leads current political process using the cover of the archaeology of identity. In their own game, in an attempt to be recognized by the international community under its constitutional name by providing evidence of being successors to a historical past, the Macedonian and other states often (ab)use archaeological data in the disputes they lead.