Rreth Libofshë is a village in the Municipality of Fier, located in southwest Albania, where the inhabitants declare as Serbs of Islamic faith. In the town works the Association of Serbs “Jedinstvo”, which in 2010 opened a Serbian language school.
I could see the split in generations. The grandfather was enthusiastically Serbian, being proud that he could express his identity after decades of communist rule. The father was more pragmatic it seems and generally a hot tempered man. The daughter and son didn‘t seem too enthusiastic, I couldn‘t help but feel that the Serbian language was being forced on them if not Serbian identity itself. The villagers all all Muslim, however they did try to present themselves as syncretic, honoring the orthodox saints and claiming that they pray both at the local church and mosque.
By far this seemed the most confused and incoherent identity group we have visited.
Slađan, M.A. Student U Belgrade
Since I‘d heard that it was a Serbian community living in this village I expected everyone to talk Serbian – this was not the case. Serbian people came here in the 1920s but the language is dying out with every generation, even though they are teaching it at school.
Megan, B.A. Student HU Berlin