National Question, Anti-Colonial Critique and Kosovo
In the beginning of the 20th century, the ‘underdevelopment’ of Kosovo and Macedonia were politically interlinked with imperialism and national question. The violent experience of the Balkan Wars and the World War exacerbated these questions further. However, at the same time, this period experienced the proliferation of a political literature critical of colonialism in the Balkans which tackled the right of self-determination and the possibility of a Balkan Federation. Pykë-Presje aims to translate, publish and make public discussions on this literature and their relevance for today. Translation of Dimitrije Tucović into English is our first step which will continue with others including Kosta Novaković and Miroslav Krleža.
Dimitrije Tucović (1881-1914) was one of the founders of the Serbian Social Democratic Party and a political analyst who published in Radničke Novine, Vorwärts, Borba and in many others. An advocate of the idea of a Balkan Federation as a political solution to imperialism and national oppression in the Balkans, he was an ardent opponent of the war. With the beginning of the war, he was recruited to the Serbian army and died in the frontline. In 1914, his book Srbija i Arbanija: Jedan Prilog Kritici Zavojevačke Politike Srpske Buržoazije (Serbia and Albania: A Contribution to the Critique of the Conqueror Policy of the Serbian Bourgeoisie) was published where he criticized the Serbian Bourgeoisie’s colonial ambitions in the Albanian territory. The text is considered as one of the most important Marxist contributions to the national question but was never translated into English. After the Second World War, the text of Tucović became officially one of the most prominent pre-war socialist legacies in the idea of Albanian self-determination in Yugoslavia. It was immediately translated and published in Albanian language in 1946. During the rising nationalism of the 1980s Tucović was attacked as being a national traitor by some Serbian intellectuals. While in Kosovo and Albania, he was mostly accepted as an important figure, but cleaned out of its socialist content.
Pykë-Presje is publishing the first ever translation of Serbia and Albania into English, whose translation is completed by Emir Škrijelj.