Date of Submission

Spring 2012

Academic Program

Sociology; Human Rights

Project Advisor 1

Thomas Keenan

Project Advisor 2

Michael Donnelly

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Contemporary debates on collective memory in Bosnia and Herzegovina present the outsider with a picture of a society clearly divided along lines of national affiliation. In these debates, the focus is on the role of the politics of memory, which includes the manipulation of memory and the rewriting of history. Without suggesting that the peaceful coexistence of the Yugoslav peoples was fake, or that ancient hatred has been passed on from generation to generation, this project suggests that the key to understanding the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina is to pay close attention to the ways memories were dealt with during Tito’s Yugoslavia. As a study of the politics of memory, it focuses on the patterns of remembrance and forgetting throughout three important periods in Bosnian history: the communist era, the transition from communism to nationalism, and the state of memory in Bosnia and Herzegovina after the conflict in the 1990s. Recognizing the urgency in addressing the past from a different standpoint, this project explores the ways in which Bosnians have dealt with memories of the war, observes patterns of remembrance and forgetting through the analysis of the objects and technologies of memory, and attempts to identify people, institutions, and the kinds of politics that keep locked the space for memory dialogue and negotiation.

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