Storytelling as a spatial practice in Dhërmi/ Drimades of southern Albania

  • Nataša Gregorič Bon Scientific Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Keywords: storytelling, spatialising, mapping, reconstructing ‘whereness’, southern Albania


This paper leads the reader to paths and places constructed by storytelling, remembrances, and the biographical contexts of the people of Dhërmi/Drimades in southern Albania. By following the people’s movements and networks of connections between the individual places that construct the spatial relations, this paper explores the ‘cartographic optic’ as recounted in the people’s stories. The underlying question is how different meanings of space and place, created by individual stories, construct the ‘whereness’ of Dhërmi/Drimades and how that ‘whereness’ constructs different meanings of space and place. The paper argues that through remembering their ancestors’ movements and winding the stories around their paths the local people continuously shift the village’s position and its boundaries and in so doing they reconstruct ‘their’ space where they seek to anchor their sense of belonging. This sense of belonging is informed by the notion of the nation-state as a hegemonic concept on the one hand and a sense of distinct locality on the other. Overall the paper presents the people’s conception of space and themselves in it.