1st Edition

Unforgetting and the Politics of Representation Voices from Contemporary Bosnia and Herzegovina

By Tatjana Takševa Copyright 2025
    242 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Based on interviews and conversations in the Bosnian Federation with women survivors of war rape, children born of rape and armed conflict, leaders of NGOs who work with survivors, and people who lived through the war and who experienced it in different ways, this book challenges one dimensional representations of the Yugoslav war and subsequent peacebuilding processes. Relying on feminist ethnography and autoethnography, this volume offers systematic engagement with the politics of representation of Bosnia and survivors of war in post-war journalism and scholarship.

    Through rich and varied individual experiences of wartime violence and recovery that go beyond simple ‘us’ versus ‘them’ narratives of ethnic identity and intolerance, the book shows how public and private, individual and collective discourses actively shape one another and contribute to complex forms of engagement in recovery, healing and rebuilding.  The author draws upon archival material to undermine the fetishization of ethnicity as a determining category that often underpins journalistic and scholarly accounts of post-war Bosnia. By retracing and repairing separations between individual and collective remembrance, and by complicating linear and monolithic conception of this process, the narratives in the book actively contest reductionist and instrumentalist accounts of the civil war in Bosnia.

    The book will appeal to scholars across the social sciences with interest in memory, peacebuilding, national identity, gendered violence and processes of reconciliation

    Introduction: Pathways to Bosnia


    Part I

    1.      Why Stories Matter 

    2.      Ecologies of Peace

    3.      Bosnia Beyond Balkanism

    4.      Sarajevo the Beautiful

    5.      Growing up Under Siege



    Part II


    1.      Unforgetting the Children Born Because of War

    2.      What Does it Mean to be a Child Born Because of War?


    Part III


    1.      The Space of Dialogue: Women who Lived Through Violence

    2.      The Vulnerable and the Brave, in Their Own Words  

    3.       Esma D., a Bosnian Woman Fighter   


    Conclusion: The Logic of Home: Transnational Fieldnotes on Peace










    Tatjana Takševa is Professor of Women and Gender Studies and Chair of the Department of English Language and Literature at Saint Mary's University, Canada. Born and raised in the former Yugoslavia, she holds a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, and is the author of numerous essays on feminist theory, nation building and the maternal, and co-editor of Mothering Under Fire: Mothers and Mothering in Conflict Zones (Demeter Press, 2015).