Negotiating Rubbish in Dhërmi/Drimades of Southern Albania

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This article addresses the problem of rubbish in the coastal village of Dhërmi/Drimades in Southern Albania. On the one hand, people's dealings with rubbish are very much a reflection of historically determined political, economical, and social relationships in the village, region, and country at large; on the other hand, rubbish negotiation have become one of the vital subjects in the process of construction and reconstruction of these relationships and the social space generally. This article explores the ways in which rubbish produces order and classifies what and who is "out of place" and what and who is "of the place." The presented accounts illustrate people's never ending negotiations over who is responsible for dumping rubbish and who is responsible for it not being removed. When talking about these issues people delineate a multiplicity of contradictions and shift the responsibility from "state" to "locality" and from "locality" to "state," from communal to individual and from individual to communal, from foreigners to locals and from locals to foreigners. All these conceptualizations are quite complex and depend on the social and cultural background of the speaker. With the expansion of tourism and related growth in owners of tourist facilities, seasonal workers, emigrants, and tourists in recent years, questions about who or what is "out of place" and who or what is "of the place" become even more relevant. While the coastal place serves as the source for this kind of negotiations, the negotiations themselves also construct this coastal place, on which local people who claim to originate from Dhërmi/Drimades situate their belonging.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • Tourism, Culture & Communication is international in its scope and will place no restrictions upon the range of cultural identities covered, other than the need to relate to tourism and hospitality. The Journal seeks to provide interdisciplinary perspectives in areas of interest that may branch away from traditionally recognized national and indigenous cultures, for example, cultural attitudes toward the management of tourists with disabilities, gender aspects of tourism, sport tourism, or age-specific tourism.
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