Debating (Post-)Coloniality in Southeast Europe: A Minority Oriented Perspective in Bulgaria
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Despite the fact that its scholarly application has been considered highly problematic in the former Eastern Bloc and barely employed due to the Marxist background, post-colonialism has been recently introduced by a large number of scholars and academics. Yet, theoretical experiments, research, and projection of post-colonialism in Central and Eastern Europe have come to compose an abundant field of reference. Drawing on this theoretical approach, this paper aims to debate the category of post-coloniality in postcommunist Bulgaria in order to better venture the parapet of the post-1989 transition. Employing a ‘minority perspective’, which will reveal minority positionality in the contemporary Bulgarian cultural and political ground, this paper traces potential power actions of (dis)possession of knowledge among subaltern groups, which actions continue to negate, disavow, distort, and deny access to different forms of minority cultures and life visions represented by non-majoritarian segments of the Bulgarian society. In general, this paper digs into the historical experience of the ethnic Turks and Muslim minority groups in Bulgaria prior to the communist experience, throughout and after the collapse of communism, and in the contemporary Republic of Bulgaria. In particular, post-coloniality – understood in terms of ‘coloniality of being’ – shall offer a better and critical angle of investigation over the issues of human marginalisation, cultural subordination, and knowledge exploitation in Bulgaria and Southeast Europe.