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The Construction, De- And Reconstruction of History and Memory: Local Memory Practices of the Memorial Complex at Mrakovica, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Manuela Brenner ; University of Regensburg, Germany

Puni tekst: engleski pdf 502 Kb

str. 65-83

preuzimanja: 908



This paper examines the memory practices of the memorial complex at Mrakovica at the Kozara National Park in the Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The original concept of the memorial site, founded in 1972, was to keep the Kozara-epos alive. The erected monument, the memorial wall and the museum were built to remember one of the biggest battles during the Second World War on Yugoslav soil during which more than ten thousand Partisan fighters and civilians lost their lives. During the communist era the memorial site fit into the official memory frame: the high number of casualties, especially civilians, was put into the foreground and the Partisans in their struggle for liberation were glorified. The key component of the official narrative was the slogan brotherhood and unity. After the armed conflict in the 1990s, the site underwent several transformations. New memorial frames were set by nationalists; thus history and memory were thereby de- and reconstructed. The new narrative included not only victims of the Second World War but exclusively those victims belonging to the ethnic group of Serbs of the First World War and the conflict in 1992-95. In 2012, the exhibition at the museum was reopened after it had undergone another re-conceptualization, another reconstruction of history and memory. Analysing documents, interviews, and ethnographic observations which I gathered during several research trips to Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2010-2013, I will show in this study that a political transition towards a nationalist approach of history was clearly visible during the 1990s at the memorial site. But even though the new exhibition, installed in 2012 at the museum, offers a less one-sided and provocative approach, a political transition concerning the memory conflicts which reflects the still existing gap between different ethnic groups is not evident.

Ključne riječi

Bosnia and Herzegovina; monuments; Second World War; Bosnian War 1992-1995; memory culture

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