Twice a Minority: Kosovo Circassians in the Russian Federation

Kumpilova, Marieta

In the era of transnationalism and globalization, the questions of identity, ethnicity, migration and diaspora received new powerful meaning and various interpretations. This research project aims to study construction and shift of the identity, interplay between ascribed and performed identity as well as the role of social and historical conditions for the identity construction. On the example of the Kosovo Circassians, who migrated to the land of their forefathers (Russian Federation, North Caucasus), the project will explore in practice what happens with the  (diasporic) identity  when “the imagined homeland” becomes real. How Kosovo Circassians view their identity before and after migration will be compared. The interplay between diaspora and homeland will be followed, based on narratives resulting from in-depth interviews. The method was chosen in order to underline the importance of the personal meaning-making. This research will have practical usage for studying adaptation to new constellations and double consciousness of the migrants/repatriates. The project by Marieta Kumpilova will continue in 2011 and is supervised by Stefan Troebst.