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Yugoslavia Revisited: Post-Yugoslav Literature and Art as Curators of the Socialist Past


This interdisciplinary project aims to investigate how post-Yugoslav literature and art remembers the heydays of socialist Yugoslavia (1950s-1970s) and how these acts of remembrance critically intervene in the public sphere. Focusing on a number of selected cases from prose fiction, film, visual art and performance/theater, the project will not only scrutinize how the arts ‘archive’, ‘document’ or ‘recall’ the everyday life and memory of socialist Yugoslavia, but also examine how critical cultural practices and the memories they mediate help envision a better future and open up new avenues to cosmopolitanism.

Utilizing a dynamic understanding of cultural memory as a performative engagement with the past, this project will center on the following questions: (1) How do post-Yugoslav artistic practices act as curators of the socialist past in opposition to the dominant ideologies of nationalism and neoliberalism? (2) How does post-Yugoslav literature and art acknowledge the mediated character of memory? (3) How do the ways in which the arts shape and circulate the cultural memory of Yugoslavia help transcend national and ethnic boundaries and imagine new forms of solidarity? (4) How do literature and art deal with the issue of Europe and transnational identity, and how is this reflected in their reception?

The cultural memory of the multinational socialist Yugoslavia, of its utopian potential as well as of its violent breakdown, has broad repercussions that strongly resonates with the endeavor of the European Union to create a shared European identity based on a common understanding of the (European) past. By providing an analysis of post-Yugoslav artistic practices of cultural remembering, the project will produce new knowledge on this specific case, provide a theoretical contribution to cultural memory studies, and contribute to broader current debates on a common European cultural memory and transnational identity.

Call for proposal

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Heidelberglaan 8
3584 CS Utrecht

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Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Brigitte Burger (Mrs.)
EU contribution
€ 183 469,80