This book analyses top-down and bottom-up strategies of framing the nation and collective identities through commemorative practices relating to events from World War Two and the 1990s ‘Homeland War’ in Croatia. With attention to media representations of commemorative events and opinion poll data, it draws on interviews and participant observation at commemorative events to focus on the speeches of political elites, together with the speeches of opposition politicians and other social actors (such as the Catholic Church, anti-fascist organisations, and war veterans’ and victims’ organisations) who challenge official narratives. Offering innovative approaches to researching and analysing commemorative practices in post-conflict societies, this examination of a nation’s transition from a Yugoslav republic to an independent state – and now the newest member of the European Union – constitutes a unique case study for scholars of cultural memory and identity politics interested in the production, representation and representation of national identities in official narratives.
Framing the Nation: An Introduction to Commemorative Culture in Croatia
Vjeran Pavlaković and Davor Pauković
Part 1: Socio-Cultural, Philosophical and Linguistic Approaches to Croatia's Commemorative Culture
1. Sociocultural and Ideological Determinants of Memory Culture in Croatian Society
2. A Contemporary Philosophical Perspective on Cultural Memory in Croatia
3. An Ontological and Constructional Approach to the Discourse Analysis of the Commemorative Speeches in Croatia
Part 2: The Second World War Commemorations: Contested Sites of the Shared Past?
4. Framing the Narrative About Communist Crimes in Croatia: Bleiburg and Jazovka
5. Contested Sites and Fragmented Narratives: Jasenovac and Disruptions in Croatia’s Commemorative Culture
Part 3: The Homeland War Commemorations
6. Heroes at the Margins: Veterans, Elites and the Narrative of War
7. Ambassadors of Memory: "Honouring the Homeland War" in Croatian Sport
8. Remembering the Hague: The Impact of International Criminal Justice on Memory Practices in Croatia
9. Filling Voids with Memories: Commemorative Rituals andMemorial Landscape in Post-War Vukovar
Part 4: Transnational Dimensions of Memory
10. Homeland Celebrations Far Away from Home: The Case of the Croatian Diaspora in Argentina
11. European Commemoration of Vukovar: Shared Memory or Joint Remembrance?
Memory Studies as an academic field of cultural inquiry emerges at a time when global public debates, buttressed by the fragmentation of nation states and their traditional narratives, have greatly accelerated. Societies are today pregnant with newly unmediated memories, once sequestered in broad collective representations and their ideological stances. But, the ‘past in the present’ has returned with a vengeance in the early 21st Century, and with it an expansion of categories of cultural experience and meaning. This new series explores the social and cultural stakes around forgetting, useful forgetting and remembering, locally, regionally, nationally and globally. It welcomes studies of migrant memory from failed states; micro-histories battling against collective memories; the mnemonic past of emotions; the mnemonic spatiality of sites of memory; and the reconstructive ethics of memory in the face of galloping informationalization, as this renders the ‘mnemonic’ more and more public and publically accessible.