In South-Eastern Europe, violence goes beyond death, disease and trauma, to include the effects of the destruction of the societal fabric. We explore the consequences of such violence through individual biographies, life trajectories, collective memories and expressions of coping and resilience.
In South-Eastern Europe, political and structural violence go beyond death, disease, trauma and anxiety, to include the pervasive effects of the destruction of the economic, political and social fabric of society. This workshop invites papers that explore the consequences of such violence by tracing them in individual biographies, life trajectories, collective memory and communal strategies for coping with and being resilient to violence, adversity and uncertainty. In particular, the papers should describe and analyse the situated, manifold and complex interconnections between violence, larger social forces and individual suffering and ways in which they affect individual and collective perceptions of reality, identity and expectations for the future.
Expanding on the work of other anthropologists who have tried to make sense of different forms of violence, we argue that violence is pervasive, ancient, infinitely various and a central fact of human life, but also poorly understood in general. At the same time and despite these "conceptual uncertainties", it is, among other things, "a cultural problem" which requires attention to the details of its meanings and enactments by social actors in particular contexts. Adopting Sherry Ortner's notion of "serious games", the workshop emphasizes the social aspects of violence through different case studies by arguing that it is shaped, maintained and appeased through the expression of personal and subjective experiences in connection with larger social actors such as the state, international organizations, transnational flows of finances, and the global media.