Jan 9, 2011

People at Borderland: Transnational Life and Identities

Привокзальне кафе. Смт. Королево, 
Закарпатська обл. 
Фото: Роман Лозинський
Place of realization: Department of Geography and Regional Development, University of Presov, Slovak Republic - Geographical Faculty of Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, Ukraine.
Fieldwork: Presov (Slovakia) and Uzhhorod (Ukraine), Khyriv (Ukraine) and Ustrzyki Dolne (Poland)
Key concepts: border, cross-border, transnationality, identity, home, everyday life, living in place, symbolic landscapes, vernacular regions, indeginous knowledge
Aim: To investigate contemporary constructing of identity through concepts meaning of place, symbolic landscapes and vernacular regions. Namely, I an interested in two main questions: What meaning people attached to places where they live? How theirs' meanings and symbols of place represent an intersubjective meaning of place (vernacular regions and their names). To compare ways of living of inhabitants at Slovakian (Presov region) and Ukrainian (Zakarpattia oblast) borderland of Carpathian region. 

Questions: How border and borderland influence to the identity of inhabitantce (different groups)? What features has local identity and how it is represented in the minds of people of different groups? How borders influence to everyday life of inhabitants? What imagination people have about another side of border? What cross-border connection exists in everyday life examples? How people use the opportunity of local border traffic (30-50 km area)? What are the reasons of such movements?
Are there some marks of transnationalism and how looks the Europeanization process in Presov and Zakarpattia region? What “new” culture practices and phenomenon we can recognize according to globalization and to cultural-social conditions of region? How tourism impact to the indigenous lifestyle? How people organize their “little” community and what non-governmental organizations they set up? Which culture bring to homeland people that have returned from short and long time stay abroad and does it have some influence into the local cultures? What symbolic meanings different groups and generations attached to the landscapes? What space diversities people (and different group) recognize and how it is represented in intersubjective meaning of places (vernacular regions and theirs names)?
Methods: analyze specialization literature and maps, comparison, fieldwork (questioning, participant observation, interviewing and construction of mental maps).
Financed by The National Scholarship Programme of the Slovak Republic