Conflicting Memories, Competing Narratives and Contested Histories in Croatia’s Post-war Commemorative Practices

Tamara Banjeglav ; Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, Graz, Austria

Puni tekst: pdf (140 KB), Engleski, Str. 7 – 31 , preuzimanja: 150 *

This article analyses commemorations and commemorative practices relating
to certain events from the 1991-1995 conflict in Croatia (Domovinski rat, or
Homeland War) and their relation to the official narratives of the past. It begins
with a theoretical framework about war commemorations introduced by Ashplant,
Dawson and Roper (2000) and continues with an overview and analysis
of the dominant, official narrative of the Homeland War, which organizes
war memory and forms the framework of official commemorative practices.
The hypothesis of the paper is that the official, state narrative on the 1990s
war is being deconstructed and contested by oppositional, sectional narratives,
which can be discerned from unofficial, counter-commemorations and
celebrations of war events. The article, thus, looks at what role these ‘counter’
(oppositional) commemorative events, which do not follow the dominant pattern,
play in the (de)construction of the official narrative about the Homeland
War. Moreover, the paper is interested in the ways in which the official commemorative
practices are interwoven with Croatian-Serbian bilateral relations
and relations with the ICTY, and argues that these practices do not contribute
to, but rather obstruct, reconciliation.

Ključne riječi
commemoration; memory; narrative; operation ‘Storm’; Vukovar; Homeland War; the ICTY