Accepted Paper:

Fringe antinationalisms: counter-hegemonic narratives of the nationalist violence and social conflict in the post-Yugoslav cinema  


Ana Devic (Dogus University)
Gabriela Ozel Volfova (Metropolitan University Prague)

Paper short abstract:

The paper explores the representations of nationalist violence by younger film-makers in Yugoslavia’s successor states, whose films are increasingly made as pan-regional coproductions. It argues that this memory re-vocation politicizes bottom-up experiences of discontent and subverts the nationalist definitions of social conflict and postsocialist inequalities.

Paper long abstract:

The argumentation and general theoretical framing of this project make a departure from the common theoretical and empirical focus on the region and its post-conflict setting, which is customarily seen as a backward ex-communist 'totality,' split into autistic and autarkic nationalist monoliths in need of comprehensive repair and a set of prescriptions to be fulfilled in order to be included in the European Union. Here I aim to dismantle the monolithic-nationalistic perspectives by focusing on cultural alternatives to, both, the hegemonies of late socialism and its nationalist violent aftermath, and, in particular, on the segments of cinema production which evoke the recent nationalist violence of the 1990s. The method that they follow in this memory revision process is non-, anti- or meta-nationalistic: insisting on the ways of coming to terms with the violent past and the still ongoing socio-economic displacements is possible through trans-ethnic, trans-border communication and the questioning of the naturalness of new states and borders (post-Yugoslav, the European Union, East-West divides). These protest 'templates' in the cinema (and also literature), despite being silenced or marginalized (primarily by domestic power 'truth' regimes, persist as bottom-up solidarity practices of critical -- situational, as opposed to normative -- multiculturality and diversity, and they may even be, arguably, on the rise. As such, they (invisibly) parallel and challenge the European Union's imaginations of European multi-cultural spaces and the ensuing prescriptions for multiculturalist policies, which are perceived and structured top-down.

Panel W032
La transformation des sociétés balkaniques: certitudes changeantes et incertitudes constantes ? (EN & FR)