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Cultural Trauma Set in Stone? The Case of Shelling of Dubrovnik

Original scientific paper

Ana Ljubojević ; University of Zagreb
Mia Jerman ; University of Zagreb
Kosta Bovan ; University of Zagreb

Fulltext: english, pdf (320 KB) pages 197-219 cite

Abstracts
During the war in former Yugoslavia, city of Dubrovnik was shelled in 1991. Even though these experiences were traumatic for all those involved, the goal of this paper was to explore if these events resulted in a cultural trauma, i.e. a breakage of cultural patterns and of collective identity. We expected that the process of trauma-claiming, which is central to cultural trauma, was amplified because of the role, both physical and symbolic, that the Old Town played for the collective identity of Dubrovnik. In the paper, we give an outline of the war in Dubrovnik. To assess the way that the war in Dubrovnik affected the collective identity, as well as to find out the relation between personal and collective historical narratives, we conducted interviews with 13 informants. We observed that all the phases of trauma-claiming were successful, or in other words, that there indeed was a cultural trauma in Dubrovnik as a consequence of the shelling. Additionally, we were able not only to observe expressions of cultural trauma experienced by our informants, but also to trace further changes and developments spanning to the present day.

Keywords
Cultural Trauma; Trauma-Claiming; Collective Identity; Narratives; Shelling

Hrčak ID: 183306

URI
http://hrcak.srce.hr/183306

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Trauma and Taboo: Forbidden Political Questions in Croatia

Original scientific paper

Nebojša Blanuša ; Trauma and Taboo: Forbidden Political Questions in Croatia

Fulltext: english, pdf (3 MB) pages 170-196 cite

Abstracts
This paper tries to differentiate cultural trauma from political taboo, as well as to show the manifestations of both in Croatia. By capturing the recent tendencies of political tabooization and de-tabooization of the main national identity signifiers, it is possible to discern several clear lines of collective relationships towards the country’s cultural traumas. First, the cultural victim trauma related to the Homeland War is sanctified and frozen. Furthermore, narratives built from that period have been increasingly applied to the Second World War, in order to represent the quisling Independent State of Croatia in a more positive light. Such attempts of making an ideological continuity are a clear falsification of history. Second, the cultural perpetrator trauma from both periods is denied and silenced. There have been several attempts to question both forms of cultural trauma in the fields of arts and civil society, but they are of limited reach and influence, especially because the mainstream media, political and religious actors promote the relativization and revision of the past. At the end of the paper, the author gives several pieces of advice for public action in order to change this mainstream condition of silencing and the tabooization of troubling traces from the past.

Keywords
Cultural Trauma; Political Taboo; National Identity; Defense Mechanisms; Theatrical Plays;

Hrčak ID: 183305

URI
http://hrcak.srce.hr/183305

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The Spectre of Communism Is Haunting Croatia. The Croatian Right’s Image of the Enemy

Original scientific paper

Tihomir Cipek ; University of Zagreb

Fulltext: english, pdf (285 KB) pages 150-169 cite

Abstracts
This article analyzes the image of the enemy firmly held by the Croatian Right and the consequences of this image for democratic political institutions in Croatia. The first part of the text reconstructs a) the public discourse of the former HDZ leader, Tomislav Karamarko, as well as b) the public discourse of the Catholic Church. With the help of theories of cultural trauma, as well as discourse analysis, the second part of the article demonstrates how the Croatian Right in fact interprets any kind of liberal attitude as a specific communist one. In that sense the proposed thesis is that in its campaign against imaginary communists the Croatian Right actually tries to oppose liberalism itself. In other words, this paper tries to answer the question, why the Croatian Right does not name its real enemy – liberalism, instead of repeating the buzzwords about the spectres of communism? The third part of the article analyses Chantal Mouffe’s theory of agonistic democracy, arguing its limits in the context of post-communist states. This paper shows that in deeply divided societies like Croatia the reduction of politics on the friend-enemy relation endangers the main liberal values of democracy.

Keywords
Enemy; Trauma; Croatian Right; Anticommunism; Liberal Democracy

Hrčak ID: 183304

URI
http://hrcak.srce.hr/183304

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Croatian Citizenship Regime and Traumatized Categories of Croatian Citizens: Serb Minority and Croatian Defenders of the Homeland War

Original scientific paper

Viktor Koska ; University of Zagreb
Ana Matan ; University of Zagreb

Fulltext: english, pdf (314 KB) pages 119-149 cite

Abstracts
This paper explores the developments of the contemporary Croatian citizenship regime, with particular focus on the ones that took place after Croatian accession to the EU. The first two stages of development of Croatian citizenship regime, from the 1990s until the Croatian membership to the EU, are focused on the consolidation of the status and rights dimensions of citizenship. The aftermath of the EU accession (re)introduced identity in the focus of the Croatian citizenship debates, particularly when it comes to issues of the status and rights of two categories of citizens: Serb minority and veterans of the Homeland War. This paper will argue that the dynamics of these developments is impossible to understand without: a) comprehending the specific legal tradition and political context that shaped the circumstances of the foundation of the Croatian state; b) understanding the role of the Homeland War as the symbolic foundation of the Croatian statehood; c) the development of the new statuses and categories of citizens that emerged from the constellation of this context and symbolic foundations of the state; and, finally, d) how the institutionalization of these statuses shape the context and agenda for Croatian citizenship-related debates.

Keywords
Croatia; Homeland War; Citizenship Regime; Serb Minority; Veteran of the Homeland War

Hrčak ID: 183303

URI
http://hrcak.srce.hr/183303

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The Founding Trauma of National Identity in Films of Milčo Mančevski

Original scientific paper

Sean Homer ; American University in Bulgaria

Fulltext: english, pdf (297 KB) pages 94-115 cite

Abstracts
The Macedonian filmmaker Milčo Mančevski is adamant that there is no such thing as Balkan cinema and he is not “a Balkan filmmaker”. He has repeatedly stated that his films are about people and not place, and insists that it is a fundamental mistake to read a film that is from somewhere as necessarily about somewhere. In this paper I argue, to the contrary, that Mančevski’s films are deeply rooted in a specific geopolitical space. Mančevski’s films range across genre, time and place, their experimental form disrupts narrative conventions and presents the past as discontinuous and open. The films engage in complicated and often indirect ways with our relationship to the past and how the past can be represented. Mančevski’s films, I contend, struggle with the “founding trauma” of national identity, that is to say, with the creation of the modern Macedonian state out of the ruins of the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the twentieth century and more recently the expulsion of the Slavic population from Northern Greece after the end of the Second World War. Furthermore, his films deploy elements of a national imaginary to construct a unique “timeless” and “mythical” Macedonian national identity.

Keywords
Milčo Mančevski; Balkan Cinema; The Founding Trauma; Macedonia; National Identity

Hrčak ID: 183302

URI
http://hrcak.srce.hr/183302

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Romani Identity, Cultural Trauma, Second-Class Citizenship and the Contemporary Context for Ethnic Political Representation in Hungary

Original scientific paper

Roland Ferkovics
Katalin Nemeth ; Penn State University
Kai A. Schafft ; Penn State University

Fulltext: english, pdf (273 KB) pages 74-93 cite

Abstracts
In this paper we discuss cultural trauma with regard to the Hungarian Roma. While the concept of cultural trauma is typically understood as connected to a discrete event and achieves recognition as cultural trauma through a process of broader social recognition, we argue that in the case of the Roma, cultural trauma is characterized not by a particular event but rather by a long history of exclusion, marginalization and persecution. Secondly, the cultural and discursive framing of Roma citizenship as “second-class” (and therefore as not “truly” Hungarian) operates as: 1) a causal factor in the historical trauma of the Roma; 2) a constitutive part of the trauma itself (the trauma as being “othered” while simultaneously having one’s traumatic experience denied); and 3) a barrier to the broader recognition and acknowledgment of that traumatic history and experience. We discuss data from recent fieldwork with Romani selfgovernment leaders to discuss how these phenomena manifest themselves as Romani leaders attempt to achieve political agency in the face of contemporary far-right political movements.

Keywords
Cultural Trauma; Hungary; Roma; Racism; Political Agency

Hrčak ID: 183301

URI
http://hrcak.srce.hr/183301

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Cultural Trauma and Welfare for War Widows in India

Original scientific paper

Jyoti Atwal ; Jawaharlal Nehru University

Fulltext: english, pdf (274 KB) pages 52-73 cite

Abstracts
This article explores “connected” and “extended” cultural traumas in order to identify certain issues which dominated pensions of the war widows throughout twentieth century India. Nearly two million Indian men were recruited into the British army during the two World Wars. Despite the fact that notions of race and physical fitness of the Indian men in the war dominated this colonial relationship, about 22,000 Indian widows were receiving a pension by the end of the Second World War. At one level, it was the articulation of the shared cultural trauma by the Indian and British war widows which led the colonial state to adopt a special sense of duty to look after the welfare of the war widows and soldiers’ dependents in India. As opposed to their Western counterparts, Indian widows in general face a wider set of challenges over the years after the husband’s death. The Indian widow was initiated into an extended cultural trauma structured by intersectionality, i.e. religion, customary laws, caste and, most importantly, the question of remarriage. In present day India, widows/dependents of the World Wars are not treated on par with widows/dependents of the soldiers/officers who died fighting the wars in 1962, 1965, 1971 and 1999 with China and Pakistan respectively. This is based on the state-driven parameters of nationhood – that the former are the Empire’s widows and the latter are widows of the Nation. This paper gives several examples of court cases filed by the widows themselves to show evidence of their trauma.

Keywords
Cultural Trauma; War Widows; British Empire; Indian Nation; Remarriage

Hrčak ID: 183300

URI
http://hrcak.srce.hr/183300

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