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Accepted Paper:

has pdf download Heroes of yesterday, war criminals of today: the Serbian paramilitary units fifteen years after the armed conflict of former Yugoslavia  
Maria Vivod (UMR 7367 Strasbourg France)

Paper short abstract:

Former role models of the Serbian nation today are the embodiment of the previous regime; source of all evil. For some unquestionable heroes, for others tool for genocides and series of war crimes. Once a war-aristocracy assisted by the army, media, diaspora at present dregs of an ugly past.

Paper long abstract:

The aim is to describe the transformation, primarily through the medias, of the image of the Serbian paramilitary unit members employed during the armed conflict of the 90es in the period of the decomposition of the former Yugoslavia. At the beginning, represented as 'heroes', 'saviors', 'protectors' of the 'serbianhood', ever present main figures of the public life - their public image has gone through a couple of change. Once they were the role models for the young generation, only after the fall of the regime (2000) their involvement in war crimes, mass rape, looting and genocide attained Serbia. Several landmark trials offered a glimpse into their role during the series of the conflicts. Once warlords, with a status of pop icons, the embodiment of mythical warriors and epic bandits, they are no more the living archetypes of collective remembrance, although their responsibility remain unquestionable for a part of the contemporary society.

Panel W110
Observing the 'bad guys': ethnographic approaches to non-state armed groups
  Session 1