dua lipa albania, autochthonous

Ok, so what did Dua Lipa’s ‘autochthonous’ Albania tweet actually mean?

She sparked controversy with the tweet

Future generations will ask about the “Dua Lipa Albania controversy” – even among strong competition it’s one of 2020’s more bizarre episodes.

Dua Lipa stans probably weren’t expecting to have to read up on Balkan nationalism. But then this tweet changed everything:

dua lipa albania, autochthonous


It’s been controversial – the hashtag #CancelDuaLipa even started doing the rounds. But what does it mean?

Understanding it requires getting to grips with some Balkan geopolitical tensions.

What’s the Dua Lipa Albania controversy all about?

The map Dua Lipa tweeted shows Albania expanding to include Kosovo and parts of other neighbouring countries.

Dua Lipa’s parents are Kosovar Albanian, and Lipa spent some time in Kosovo whilst growing up.

Territorial disputes in the Balkans are sensitive, with Serbia controversially refusing to formally recognise Kosovo, which is 93 per cent ethnically Albanian, as an independent nation after it declared independence in 2008. Serbians say Kosovo is part of Serbia, but some Albanians say the area is Albanian, as they were there long before.

The flag is often posted by people who support extreme Albanian nationalism and want to expand Albania to form a “Greater Albania”.

When a drone flew the flag over a 2014 Serbia vs Albania football match and a Serbian player pulled it down from the sky, a brawl broke out and the game had to be abandoned.

What does “autochthonous” mean?

Alongside the map, Dua Lipa tweeted the definition of “autochthonous”, meaning a person who lives in a place is “indigenous rather than descended from migrants or colonists”.

The word and expanded map are often used together, as they were in the Serbia vs Albania football match.

This could be taken as a repudiation of the idea that Kosovar Albanians are not “proper” Albanians, which is also advanced by far-right factions in Albania.

However, the idea that Albania should be expanded to include areas where indigenous Albanians live is also used as an argument by nationalists in Albania.

It’s messy.

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