Kosovar Albanian London-born pop singer Dua Lipa has received mixed reactions online after tweeting a picture of the map of Albanian-inhabited territories in the Balkans, captioned with the definition of the word “autochthonous”.
(of an inhabitant of a place) indigenous rather than descended from migrants or colonists pic.twitter.com/OD9bNmLcZ4
— DUA LIPA (@DUALIPA) July 19, 2020
The tweet drew significant backlash, with some interpreting the map as representing the concept of Greater Albania, though Lipa made no mention of it.
Balkan expert Florian Bieber deemed it “stupid nationalism,” claiming that the map “represents the same kind of exclusionary and also aggressive nationalism as any other.” Others called her tweet “propaganda”, “terrorism”, and part of a “nazi agenda.” Some replies contained anti-Albanian slurs and the slogan “Kosovo is Serbia”.
On the other hand, the Lipa’s post also attracted support, with a popular Albanian Twitter account making the case that her tweet was not intended as hateful, but instead as a way to “debunk” claims denying Albanian indigeneity in the Balkans that have been used to justify ethnic cleansing during the Kosovo War and in Chameria.
The artist’s posts come only a few days after the EU-mediated Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, aiming at normalizing relations between the two countries, resumed in Brussels after a two-year hiatus. A book appearing in a photo of EU Commissioner for Enlargement Oliver Várhelyi and Serbian President Vucic prior to the meeting drew criticism from Kosovo politicians, who claimed it perpetuated a Serbian “chauvinist” myth that saw Kosovo as the center of Serbian nationalism and heritage.