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Violence and Identification

Everyday Ethnic Identity in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Torsten Kolind

prevent or create war ( Sorabji 2008 ). Also, current evidence seems to suggest that the idea of komšiluk may today be profoundly changing as a consequence of the postwar predicament ( Henig 2012 ). The fourth and last element relates to many Bosnians

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Manufacturing loss

Nostalgia and risk in Ludwigshafen

Peter Phillimore and Patricia Bell

This article takes cultural understandings of industrial risk in a center of the global chemical industry as an opening that, perhaps unexpectedly, highlights nostalgia for a particular period in (West) Germany's postwar history. Based on fieldwork in Ludwigshafen, we reflect on memories among an older generation of residents that evoke the severity of industrial pollution from the city's vast chemical industry during the 1950s and 1960s. Although the pollution of that era is hardly mourned, it was portrayed as emblematic of a culturally defining era, an era valorized as one of enormous achievement in a more straightforward time. We draw on Tim Ingold's concept of “taskscapes” and his emphasis on skill and Tim Edensor's discussion of “excessive spaces” and “multiple absences” to explore the selectivity of the nostalgia of Ludwigshafen's older residents, in which the celebration of the rebuilding of the postwar chemical industry, and its dominant company BASF, simultaneously obscured problematic memories associated with the city's chemical industry in wartime.

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Jonathan Magonet

In 1946 in London was held the first post-war conference of the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ). Rabbi Dr Leo Baeck, already in his seventies, gave the presidential address. He said: ‘Since the last conference of our World Union a

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Post-war Blood

Sacrifice, Anti-sacrifice, and the Rearticulations of Conflict in Sri Lanka

Neena Mahadev

Since 2009, in the aftermath of Sri Lanka’s ethnic war, certain contingents of Sinhala Buddhists have lodged attacks against religious minorities, whom they censure for committing violence against animals in accordance with the dictates of their gods. Considering these interventions against sacrifice in spaces of shared Hindu and Buddhist religiosity, this article examines the economies of derogation, violence, and scapegoating in post-war Sri Lanka. Within Sinhala Buddhism, sacrifice is considered bio-morally impure yet politically efficacious, whereas meritorious Buddhist discipleship is sacrificial only in aspirational, bloodless terms. Nevertheless, both practices fall within the spectrum of Sinhala Buddhist religious life. Majoritarian imperatives concerning postwar blood impinge upon marginal sites of shared religiosity—spaces where the blood of animals is spilled and, ironically, where political potency can be substantively shored up. The article examines the siting of sacrifice and the purifying majoritarian interventions against it, as Buddhists strive to assert sovereignty over religious others.

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Postwar Facial Reconstruction

Georges Franju's Eyes Without a Face

Stefanos Geroulanos

This essay proposes a reading of Georges Franju's Eyes Without a Face that focuses on the cultural and philosophical contexts of the face, its destruction, and imagined reconstruction in postwar France. The film foregrounds the protagonist's lack of a face and the effort to restore it into a cinematic argument heralding the ruin of natural beauty and genuine face-to-face relations, an approach that in turn theorizes the postwar world as premised on ethical and aesthetic opacity. By considering contemporary treatments of the face, as well as the representations of injury and violence, the essay argues that at stake in the political and aesthetic judgments proposed by the failed face transplants in the film was a concern with the technological reconstruction of a natural and pure state, a reconstruction that was now seen as impossible and could have devastating consequences at the ethical and aesthetic levels.

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Montagnes Russes and Calicot

Print Culture and Visual Satire in Restoration Paris

Peggy Davis

Restoration-era discourse on the montagnes russes—early roller coasters—reveals how leisure activity could become a lightning rod for perspectives on public space, tensions among social groups, and expressions of patriotism. Eager to profit from the montagnes russes craze, boulevard theaters hosted a number of plays on the subject. Through the buffoonish character M. Calicot, one such comedy—entitled The Battle of the Mountains— caricatured young clothing-trade salesclerks who frequented roller-coaster parks. The play provoked the ire of some of these men, who “waged war” on the Variety Theater, where the play was performed. The conflict in turn sparked satires in print, visual, and other media. These cultural productions both reflected the short-lived mania for roller coasters and shaped attitudes in their own right, all while employing laughter to deal with postwar trauma.

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Maria Stehle

Ruff, Mark Edward. The Wayward Flock: Catholic Youth in Postwar West Germany, 1945-1965 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005)

McDougall, Alan. Youth Politics in East Germany: The Free German Youth Movement 1946-1968 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2004)

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Gavriel D. Roseneld

Few issues have possessed the centrality or sparked as much controversy

in the postwar history of the Federal Republic of Germany

(FRG) as the struggle to come to terms with the nation’s Nazi past.

This struggle, commonly known by the disputed term Vergangenheitsbewältigung,

has cast a long shadow upon nearly all dimensions of

German political, social, economic, and cultural life and has prevented

the nation from attaining a normalized state of existence in

the postwar period. Recent scholarly analyses of German memory

have helped to broaden our understanding of how “successful” the

Germans have been in mastering their Nazi past and have shed light

on the impact of the Nazi legacy on postwar German politics and

culture. Even so, important gaps remain in our understanding of

how the memory of the Third Reich has shaped the postwar life of

the Federal Republic.

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Jakob Norberg

Hannah Arendt and Alexander and Margarete Mitscherlich produced influential accounts of the postwar West-German population's silence or inarticuleteness. The Mitscherlichs claimed that this silence was symptomatic of a blocked process of mourning; Arendt saw it as a legacy of brutal totalitarian rule. However, both viewed the rapid economic recovery as evidence of the German inability to engage in discursively mediated therapeutic and political processes. Frantic busyness was a form of silence. This paper presents a critical reassessment of these approaches. By drawing on Albert Hirschman's theory of exit and voice, it argues that economic activity possesses a communicative dimension. The alleged retreat from politics is not a symptom of muteness but rather indicates people's preference for an alternative mode of communication. Arendt and the Mitscherlich may be right in assuming a correlation between the postwar economic recovery and ostensible political apathy, but lack the conceptual means to clarify the relationship.

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Beatriz Manz

In the 1980s, Guatemala's state-sponsored violence reached genocidal proportions and led to community ruptures, endemic fear, deepened distrust, and unprecedented levels of daily violence that have continued into the post-war period. Tragically, the war's resolution has not ended the country's volatility and insecurity. Reconciliation is challenging and requires a much deeper structural overhaul. It is problematical for a society that has been created on a rigid, ethnic-based, and highly divisive foundation now to take steps toward reclaiming a non-existent pre-war period of concord. An inclusive and just society, which respects the fundamental human rights of all, is essential yet sorely lacking. Moving in this direction is hindered by the historic impunity enjoyed by the military and the powerful, as well as a dysfunctional judicial system in need of reform.