“Ruins of the Borderland: Ruin Affect, Aesthetics, and Otherness in the Prespa Lakes Region.”
Journal of Modern Greek Studies 38 (2): 399–423. https://doi.org/10.1353/mgs.2020.0026.
The historic Prespa agreement, signed on 17 June 2018 by Prime Ministers Tsipras and Zaev in the Greek border village of Psarades, marks the latest use of this borderland and its ruins as a performative stage. Prespa’s ruins, both its celebrated Byzantine monuments and the contemporary ruins of villages deserted following the Greek Civil War (1946–1949), have been used as aesthetic and performative objects not only to serve nationalist narratives but also to negotiate processes of loss, mourning, or personal commemoration and reflection. A consideration of recent films about the Greek Civil War in terms of visual-spatial practices of cinematic cartography, informed by theoretical approaches to ruins, memory, and nostalgia, reveals that Prespa’s ruins, both as filmic objects and as enduring materialities of lingering emotional effects, are constituted through an Otherness with subversive possibilities that can help to challenge established notions of ruins and ruination.