'Money of kurbet is money of blood': the making of a 'hero' of migration at the Greek-Albanian border
A young Albanian who hijacked a Greek public bus in May 1999 has been apotheosised as a 'hero of migration' by fellow-Albanians. This paper considers how the hijacker's story, as narrated in a pirated cassette-recorded memorial song, has served as a collective document of everyday exploitation and violation at the hands of Greek bosses and the police, as well as a vehicle for fantasising revenge and recouping agency, voice and masculinity. The moral claims and gender ideologies asserted in this alternative account of the hijacking are grounded in a discourse of kurbet (a Turkish-derived term for 'travel-for-work') and its distinctive constructions of subjectivity, history and value. While this event reified the Greek-Albanian border, giving credence to the notion that Greeks and Albanians exist in different developmental and civilisational time-zones, the deaths of the Albanian hijacker and a Greek hostage, both men in their twenties, and the public mourning of their fathers, point to a shared crisis of social reproduction, national health and male power in the context of post-socialism and the global economy.