Following the Belgrade riots after Kosovo's proclamation of independence in February 2008 and the rise of the nationalist Serbian Radical Party in elections since 2001, several analysts have portrayed Serbia as a highly divided and confused nation unable to choose between a European, urban, and cosmopolitan democrat identity and a patriarchal, peasant, and collectivists nationalist one. This article historicizes this widespread culture-talk by ethnographically grounding it in particular processes that constitute Serbia's trajectory toward free market economy and liberal democracy. The concept of class as an analytical tool appears accurate in trying to understand people's biographies and political choices. By deconstructing popular cultural stereotypes of Radikali, the article argues that nationalism provides a framework that resonates most with the material and symbolic needs of a wide range of population. In the absence of a strong institutionalized left, the political choices of "nationalism's supporters" are based more on rational choice than on identity quests and strategies of manipulation.
Class and "identity dilemmas" in contemporary Serbia
književnost i umetnost, 2015, 378 pp., RSD 550 (paperback), ISBN 978-86-7946-154-4. Stanislava Barać, Feministička kontrajavnost: Žanr ženskog portreta u srpskoj periodici 1920–1941 (The feminist counterpublic: A genre of woman's portrait in the Serbian
Narratives of living in Serbia's 1990s
This article, based on ethnographic research in Serbia, analyzes the topics of identity, memory and urban resistance in Serbia through an analysis of forty interviews with young Serbian intellectuals aged 23 to 35. I focus on the themes that recur in my informants' discourses on (national) spaces of belonging of the 1990s. My concern here is with making links between questions of memory, identity, belonging, resistance and space.
Lamenting and Photographing the Dead in Serbia, 1914–1941
This article is part of a larger research project on the political, cultural, and social implications of interwar Yugoslavia’s remembrance and mourning of its war dead. Es- chewing a focus on state-centered commemorative practices, this article focuses on two types of sources, laments of Serbian women and photographs by Serbian military photographers, as entry points into understanding the private, cultural, and religious arenas of Serbian wartime and interwar remembrances. Drawing on research examining the political uses of lament and grief, the article considers the role Serbian women played in controlling and directing the “passion of grief and anger” within their communities as they remembered the dead. The photographic evidence reveals that traditional death rituals and laments were performed and that these rituals were significant socio-political spaces where women, families, and communities of soldiers advanced claims for recognition of their wartime experiences and memories. However, the photographs themselves are sites of memory and this article examines how military photographers, acting on behalf of the state, sought to control the representation of grief and by doing so politicized and secularized the way grief was expressed. Placing these sources side by side illustrates the intermingling of forms of mourning and remembrance that existed not only in the Balkans, but also in many other communities throughout Europe, especially among its rural inhabitants.
Željka Janković and Svetlana Stefanović
Srpkinje: Pojava pokreta za emancipaciju žena i feminizma u Kraljevini Srbiji (Serbian sisters: The emergence of the women’s emancipation movement and feminism in the Kingdom of Serbia), 2nd updated edition, Belgrade: Evoluta, 2015, 209 pp., €17
Srdja Popović and Slobodan Djinovic
2001: 3–4 ; Nepstad 2011 ). We came of age as activists in Serbia, a country that was widely known for President Slobodan Milošević’s atrocities. When we founded the Otpor! organization against the “Butcher of the Balkans,” the situation was
Tatjana Thelen, Andre Thiemann, and Duška Roth
In this article, we analyze processes of kinning within state-initiated programs of elder care in Serbia in order to explore how images of the state as an entity are cast as distinct from the domain of the family. We present data from the fieldwork we conducted in two settlements, in northern and central Serbia respectively. Contrary to the findings of many anthropological studies of the state, state actors in these cases surpass the expectations of citizens. Nevertheless, within complex processes of kinning between state-paid care workers and their clients, dominant images of an absent state as well as state-kinship boundaries are (re)produced. Placing this boundary work within the evolving relations at the center of the analysis underlines the merits of rethinking the interconnections between kinship and the state with a relational focus.
This article reconsiders established anthropological knowledge about postsocialist “civil society” through an analysis of recent efforts of Serbian nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to reduce their dependence on foreign donors and develop “local fund-raising” from individuals and businesses. These initiatives had to address widespread suspicion toward NGOs, which confirms earlier findings about their donor-driven origins and the class divide between them and the surrounding society. Nevertheless, the article shows that the fund-raising activists strove to overcome suspicion and indigenize civil society. While anthropologists tend to portray NGO workers as a transnationalized elite, they are more adequately described as a middle-class faction currently subject to a process of precarization. The article also shows how the NGO workers' strategies to overcome suspicion, drawing variously on the global models of rational philanthropy, populist modes of self-presentation, or pre-existing ties to new donors, obscured or reduced the relevance of the class divide.
Public Discourse in Interwar Yugoslavia on the Status of Women in Turkey (1923–1939)
Turkey, as it shifted toward a modern nation-state, occupied the attention of the public discourse in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (or Kingdom of SHS), which was established in 1918 and changed its name in 1929 to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Adriana Zaharijević, Kristen Ghodsee, Efi Kanner, Árpád von Klimó, Matthew Stibbe, Tatiana Zhurzhenko, Žarka Svirčev, Agata Ignaciuk, Sophia Kuhnle, Ana Miškovska Kajevska, Chiara Bonfiglioli, Marina Hughson, Sanja Petrović Todosijević, Enriketa Papa-Pandelejmoni, Stanislava Barać, Ayşe Durakbaşa, Selin Çağatay, and Agnieszka Mrozik
Belgrade, Serbia Athena Athanasiou's Agonistic Mourning is the most recent and the most original book on the Serbian feminist and anti-militarist activist group Žene u Crnom (Women in Black). What makes it so original and important can be expressed with