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Accepted Paper:

Patriotic songs and Art units of Bosnian-Herzegovinian army: Reflections and insights on fieldwork research in Sarajevo and Zenica  


Petra Hamer (University of Graz)

Paper short abstract:

Each corpus of B-H army had one art unit where musicians composed patriotic songs, boosted morale and glorified soldiers,commanders and beautiful homeland. What role did music played in the life of musicians and soldiers and how did it affect on the creation of Bosniac and Bosnian national identity.

Paper long abstract:

After Yugoslavia disintegrated to several independent states, Bosnian Serb/ Yugoslav army attacked Bosnia-Herzegovina on 6 April 1992 and occupied the country till the Dayton peace agreement was signed in December 1995. On 3 September 1992, the Presidency of B-H decreed the formation of seven corps of the ARBiH - armija BiH (Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina), based on their geographical position. Each corps had a sector for moral questions, with a main task to organise artists into art unit. The majority of Bosnian artists voluntarily joined art units and soon music, theatre and art detachments were formed. Results of their work were soon visible - musicians and singers composed patriotic songs in different musical genres and dedicated them to army commander, soldiers, beautiful Bosnia-Herzegovina and brave suffering people, artist paint pictures and prepared exhibitions, and actors performed theatre plays.

First corps was stationed in Sarajevo and art unit performed at different occasions army had organised. In Zenica, the third corps organised their local artists and theatre actors to perform patriotic songs for soldiers and civilians in Zenica but also abroad.

Extended fieldwork in Sarajevo and Zenica with in-depth semi-structural interviews, data gathering method and visual/audio material analysis gives the insight into the work of art units of B-H army and helps to answer the research question of the PhD in writing "what role and effect did art units of first and third corps of Bosnian-Herzegovinian army had in creation of Bosniac and Bosnian national identity in Sarajevo and Zenica?"

Panel P169
Affection of Sounds and Politics in South-Eastern Europe: Challenges and Perspectives