NON-COMMEMORATION AND THE NATION:MEMORY AND FORGETTING IN THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA Cover Image

NON-COMMEMORATION AND THE NATION:MEMORY AND FORGETTING IN THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA
NON-COMMEMORATION AND THE NATION:MEMORY AND FORGETTING IN THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA

Author(s): Alysse Kushinski
Subject(s): Literary Texts
Published by: Editura Universităţii din Bucureşti
Keywords: memory; forgetting; non-commemoration; Yugoslavia; irony; turbosculpture; monumentality; countermonument

Summary/Abstract: The concepts of monumentality and collective memory have not been neglected by discourses concerning national identity. However, insights favouring forgetting and counter-memory are considerably new approaches reconstructing identities and redressing tragedy after pronounced violence. Erecting monuments is often a strategy towards building and inciting public memory and defining the nation, but they can also be used as a means of masking histories and manipulating national narratives – this is seemingly the case in a number of post-war monuments throughout the former Yugoslavia. The interplay between cultural heritage, memory, and space is a huge component of national identity; the installation of monuments memorializing non-Yugoslav celebrities throughout the newly defined states serve as a means to reconstitute identity, redefine heritage and avoid the celebration of a painful past. This paper will examine the potential consequences of manipulating public space through the erection of structures that function to disguise. By discussing the way in which identities can strive to strategically avoid the state in the ‘non-commemoration’ of the nation and its inflicted traumas, I hope to demonstrate that the state is always present: That even through neglecting it – it is always referenced, that the academic conceptions of the state can operate, not just by identifying and treating the state as an actor, but also by simply acknowledging the state as spectre. By comparing these contemporary structures to the numerous national monuments dedicated to victims of fascism built after the Second World War, I will show how the relationship between the state and memory has shifted in some regards and stayed the same in others.

  • Issue Year: 2013
  • Issue No: 01
  • Page Range: 68-76
  • Page Count: 9
  • Language: English