Dua Lipa breaks silence on controversial ‘Albanian nationalist’ post: ‘It was never meant to incite hate’
Dua Lipa has clarified a controversial Twitter post which appeared to support a unified Kosovo-Albania state, saying she “completely rejects” ethnic separatism.
The Future Nostalgia singer sparked fierce debate on Sunday (July 19) by tweeting a flag which covered not just Albania, but Kosovo and parts of neighbouring Balkan nations.
She included a definition for the word “autochthonous” — meaning “indigenous rather than descended from migrants or colonists”.
Many linked her post to the idea of “Greater Albania”, a nationalist concept where Albania absorbs several neighbouring regions.
But after 48 hours of criticism, Lipa wrote on Instagram Tuesday night (July 21): “My previous post was never meant to incite any hate.
“It makes me sad and angry that my post has been wilfully misinterpreted by some groups and individuals who promote ethnic separatism, something I completely reject.”
Albanian nationalists say that their people settled in Kosovo — which was under Serbian rule until 2008, when it unilaterally declared independence — long before the Serbs.
Serbia disputes its claim, with tensions coming to a head in the Kosovo war of 1998 and 1999. A majority of Kosovans identify as ethnically Albanian.
Dua Lipa’s Kosovar Albanian parents migrated to the UK before she was born, before moving the family to Kosovo during Lipa’s childhood. The singer said that she simply wanted to show pride in her identity.
Whenever she tries to do this, she said, she is met “with a fierce resistance to the idea of an authentic Kosovan culture”.
“We all deserve to be proud of our ethnicity and where we are from,” she wrote.
“I simply want my country to be represented on a map and to be able to speak with pride and joy about my Albanian roots and my mother country.”
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Yolanda Hadid, mother of models Bella, Gigi and Anwar Hadid– who Lipa is dating – wrote: “Very well said.”
Dua Lipa shared post after calls for Kosovo to be ‘put on the map’.
Lipa did not address the nature of the map she shared, leading to further criticism from followers.
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“Maybe posting a pic of a map containing territories belonging to other countries was not the brightest idea after all right?” read one comment.
She shared the flag after an online petition called for Apple Maps to “put Kosovo on the map”. Rita Ora, who was born in Kosovo, has also tweeted in support of this.
The New York based Team Albanians, which promotes Albanian culture, history and tourism, supported Lipa’s original post, saying that she had debunked “dangerous far-right ideology that ‘Albanians are not indigenous people’ with just one tweet”.
However critics have called the flag’s meaning “extremist,” “irredentist” and “ethno nationalist”.
The same flag that she tweet sparked tensions in 2014 when it was flown by drone into a football stadium where Albania and Serbia were playing against each other, inciting a riot.