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Accepted Paper:

Past hopes and present hopelesness  
Ivona Grgurinovic (University of Zagreb)

Paper short abstract:

The goal of this presentation is to confront past hope and tentative present hopelessness, on the example of ethnographic research in a village in central Croatia.

Paper long abstract:

The goal of this presentation is to confront past hope and present hopelessness, on the example of ethnographic research in a village in central Croatia. The village is situated in a somewhat secluded forested area at the intersection of several regions, bordering them but not belonging to any, geographically. Partly due to this position, this locality was a scene of fighting and resistance during the Second World War, and was also the site of a partisan hospital situated in the forests surrounding the village. Its role in the antifascist resistance earned the village an important symbolic place in the ideological imaginary of the socialist Yugoslav state and represented a source of pride for the inhabitants. However, according to the inhabitants, the promises and hopes of the socialist modernizing project were not fulfilled. The post-war period was marked by depopulation, and today the village numbers a little more than the fifth of its 1948 population. Presently, it faces further depopulation, exploitation of the most abundant resource (the forest) and a looming infrastructural project which the inhabitants fear will endanger the delicate karst landscape and cause flooding. This presentations seeks to look into the discrepancy between what was once a hopeful projection into the future and the tentative present state of hopelessness in a region strongly marked by depopulation.

Panel P015
Salvaging Hope and Seeking Survival: Futurities in postwar borderlands and Broken Ecologies after wars
  Session 1 Friday 29 July, 2022, -