The “Erased” between the Politics of Denial and the Exemplarity of the Contemporary Slovenian Novel Cover Image

„Избрисани“ између политике порицања и егземпларности савременог словеначког романа
The “Erased” between the Politics of Denial and the Exemplarity of the Contemporary Slovenian Novel

Author(s): Marko Juvan
Subject(s): Slovenian Literature
Published by: Институт за књижевност и уметност
Keywords: biopolitcs;ethnonationalism;trauma;denial of guilt;Slovenian novel;exemplarity

Summary/Abstract: Soon after Slovenia’s proclamation of independence in 1991, the Slovenian authorities removed about 25,000 people (designated the “erased”) from the registry of permanent residents. They thus disenfranchised and turned this group into illegal aliens reduced to “bare existence” (Agamben). The removal resulted from the ethno-nationalist concept of the Slovenian state and became an instrument of its biopolitical governmentality. The powers that be sought to minimize the size of the ethnically non-Slovenian population, suspecting it of disloyalty and stamping it with the Balkanist stereotypes typical of “nesting Orientalism” (Bakić-Hayden). The distancing from the “Southerners” allowed the Slovenians to perceive themselves as holders of a pristine work ethic and the (central) European democratic culture, suitable for entry into the global empire of late capitalism. After a decade of silence, the topic of the “erased” flooded the media as a response to verdicts by the Slovenian Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights, which demanded that the state correct the injustice done to them. The political debate on their removal from the registry (the “erasure”) reached its peak during the 2004 referendum on this problem. Moreover, those that were “erased” organized themselves to fight for their rights in 2002 and their campaigns were supported by the international leftist activists and civil society. However, a discourse of “organized innocence” (Jalušič) prevails in relation to this group, similar to the denial of war crimes in the post-Yugoslav countries.

  • Issue Year: 51/2019
  • Issue No: 169
  • Page Range: 53-75
  • Page Count: 23
  • Language: Serbian