Contemporary Southeastern Europe
Special Issue

Visual Representations of Femininities and Masculinities – The Balkans and South Caucasus in the Digital Age

  • Karl Kaser
The Balkans and South Caucasia (Eurasia Minor) consists of countries and regions that are considered by representative investigations on the country level as some of the last strongholds of patriarchy compared to the rest of Europe, Russia not included. Astonishingly enough, comparative studies of gender relations in Eurasia Minor are rare. My study attempts to shed some fresh light on the stagnant debate on the remarkable regression in gender equality in the region in the first two decades of post-socialism and in post-Kemalism. In doing so, I believe that discussing gender relations, femininities, and masculinities in the digital era is no longer feasible without including the wide and thriving field of digital visuality. My overall conclusion is that the period of re-traditionalization in the “wild 1990s” and not so wild 2000s was a temporal one and has started to fade out in the 2010s at the latest. The conflicting antagonism of porno-chic and veiling-chic is also in a phase of fading out; this is caused by, among other things, the powerful dynamics digital visuality offers to both camps.