Competing Memories, Contested Histories

Wednesday, 20 June 2012, 2:00pm - 3:30pm, IWM library

Seminar “Faces of Eastern Europe”

In this talk I will analyse commemorations and commemorative practices relating to certain events from the 1991-1995 or the “Homeland War” in Croatia, particularly to the operation “Storm”. My research is grounded in a theoretical framework about war commemorations proposed by Ashplant, Dawson and Roper, which approaches the politics of war memory and commemorations through a struggle of three main aspects: narratives, arenas and agencies. My hypothesis is that the narrative on the 1990s war is being constructed and reified through official commemorative practices organized and attended by political elites, but that these practices also play an important role in conceptualization of the Croatian national identity. Thus, I further analyse how the concept of national identity is reified through official commemorative practices, and I look at how these commemorations are used for different political purposes and for the promotion of political agendas. I also take into consideration those commemorative events which do not follow the dominant pattern and analyse what role this ‘counter-commemorations’ have for (de)construction of the narrative about the ‘Homeland War’ in Croatia.

Tamara Banjeglav is PhD candidate in Balkan Studies, University of Ljubljana; currently she is a Robert Bosch Junior Visiting Fellow at IWM.