Monuments Destroyed, Memories Erased, Revisionisms of WWII, Socialism, and the Wars of the 1990s in the Post-Yugoslav Space

Tangible and Intangible Memory as Activism in Post-Yugoslav Art and Film

  • Date: 20 DECEMBER 2022  from 17:30 to 19:00

  • Event location: In presence and online event

  • Type: Lectures

The seminar will focus on the case of the Yugoslav memory culture’s geographical displacement, i.e., the exhibition “Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948–1980,” which ran in the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) from July 2018 to January 2019. The display of architectural models, photographs, plans and video materials, spread across 1000 m², attracted tens of thousands of visitors, and received overwhelmingly positive coverage in global media outlets, some calling it a nostalgia for the ‘unrepeatable.’ All the seemingly more striking was the lack of reporting locally, ‘back home’. The seminar departs from observing this ‘significant silence’ in the post-Yugoslav space in relation to the exhibition, asking whether a comprehensive coverage of the event could have done damage to the state of hegemonic amnesia of socialism. The seminar then will address the question of the destruction and neglect of socialist Yugoslav-era monuments (WWII memorials, and a number of public venues and buildings) and will consider some examples of “strong absences” in recent post-Yugoslav film, addressing the war crimes of the 1990s. The visual arts and cinematic efforts at combatting the revisionist hegemony of making invisible correspond with and complement the efforts of those civil society groups in the “region” who organize to mark the places of war crimes or make pilgrimages to ruined or neglected WWII memorials.

PhD students and researchers who are interested may request an attendance certificate.