> > Longing or Loathing a Common Identity. The European Strategies for Information Society as an Instrument for Constructing Identity and the Local Realities: the Case of Bulgaria

Longing or Loathing a Common Identity. The European Strategies for Information Society as an Instrument for Constructing Identity and the Local Realities: the Case of Bulgaria


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English
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Assen Kanev 
European identity, digitization of cultural heritage, information society initiatives, Bulgarian situation
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The new European agenda for creating a common European identity through the territory of the Union and the Community can be interpreted, among other things, also as a way for vindication and reestablishment of modernitys grand narratives (in a Lyotardian sense) of the nation-state on a broader, more diverse and extranational level. This political and institutional strategy is deeply rooted in the European Information Society initiatives, starting with the Lisbon program (2000), the Lund principles (2001), the eEurope initiative (2000-2005) and presently with the i2010 strategic framework (2005-2010) whose goals are the creation of a single European information space and an inclusive European Information Society. Although not explicitly stated in the documents and programs a strong underlying tendency for constructing of a common European identity can be easily deduced and one of the tools for achieving it is the digitisation, on-line access and digital preservation of the cultural heritage and Europe's collective memory. The strategy for achieving this is the instrumentalization of the new cutting edge ICTs and their deployment in the cultural field on a common European level and thus nurturing and celebrating the European cultural diversity in a new, digital form, it will, somehow, become the fundament of a new common European identity.

The case study that I am proposing for this paper will be focused on the hows and whys this specific European strategy comes to the local (with its proverbial marginal and peripheral implications) Bulgarian context. The analysis of Bulgarias situation as both a SEE country and a brand new EU member state is particularly interesting and controversial, because of the desires and resistances this emerging European identity-building project triggers. The study of the cultural heritage problems and Information society implementation in Bulgaria will be based on the theories of Manuel Castells of the network society and the resistances towards its dominion, both collective and individual, on Jan and Aleida Assmanns theories of the cultural memory and the newest critical approaches towards the problems of the digital cultural heritage.



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