Constructing Identities in State-building of Transnistria: Heritage of the Past and its Repercussion in the Present
Ala Svet – 2007
Group political and territorial identities are realities in the contemporary world; the case of Moldova is not an exception. The elements and processes involved in recognizing such territoriality bound identities are discussed, with an emphasis on the questions of scale and perception. The legitimacy of a group identity depends on the abstraction scale and the definer’s perspective. Some problems related to group allegiances and orientations are identified. The ethnically mixed population of the left bank of the Republic of Moldova set them apart from those established on the right bank. This contradiction between the two banks of the Dniester River should be regarded not as an ethnic separation but as a politicized regionalism. Transnistrian movement is a complex combination of various cross-cutting and interactive driving forces, among which is the heritage of Soviet patriotism, ideologically driven actors, and economic and political motivations. A state-driven identity building project is aimed at fostering a new regionalist pattern of collective identity as a step towards the creation of a “Transnistrian people”. I choose Ribnita (approximately 110 kilometers away from Tiraspol), a less known city, to test how PMR (also TMR) statehood is perceived and how citizenship belonging is set up away from the charismatic Transnistria capital, Tiraspol.