“Ideally Bad”: The Politics of Reconstruction of Turbo-Folk Identity in Contemporary Serbia Cover Image

„Idealno loša“: politike rekonstrukcije identiteta turbo-folka u savremenoj Srbiji
“Ideally Bad”: The Politics of Reconstruction of Turbo-Folk Identity in Contemporary Serbia

Author(s): Jelena Višnjić
Subject(s): Gender Studies
Published by: Centar za ženske studije & Centar za studije roda i politike, Fakultet političkih nauka, Beograd
Keywords: identity; representation; turbo-folk; female singer; Serbia

Summary/Abstract: This paper analyzes the constitution of women’s identities in the context of turbo-folk music during the period of post-socialism and transition. In other words, the processes of re-construction and re-presentation of the identities of turbo folk singers in public and media discourses are analyzed within and in relation to the changes of the social context, and historical and institutional characteristics of modern Serbia. Cultural - political narrative of turbo folk presents the territory of identity construction and identity formation, in which, with the use of certain social practices, preferred gender identities were included in the symbolic order of the community. However, they also abandoned the very same order. Women’s identities in the system of representation usually have the function of affirmation and promotion of the dominant social order. The most numerous and dominant representatives of turbo folk music and ideology are women, that is, turbo folk singers and their identities and visual transformation during the past decade to the present days have been litmus paper for the social changes that run parallel to their identity and aesthetic metamorphoses. I argue that at er the original instrumentalization of female identity of turbo folk singers who had been in the function of confirmation of the social order (which was typical for the i rst half of the 1990s, the period of rehabilitated nationalism and patriarchy, and the warrior ideology of ethnic cleansing), the construction of their identities after 2000 incorporates the emancipatory potentials in relation to the ruling political practice of Serbia. Identities and actions of turbo folk singers in Serbia today represent models of personal (individualized) resistance that may indicate a progressive power and/or subversion of the socio-political and ideological dominants of the current moment, provided there is social awareness of this issue.

  • Issue Year: 2009
  • Issue No: 13
  • Page Range: 43-61
  • Page Count: 19
  • Language: Serbian