“Nobody asked me how I felt”. Childhood Memories of Exile among the Croatian post-WW2 Diaspora in Argentina

  • Nikolina Židek
This paper focuses on childhood memories of exile over time. While researching commemorative practices of the Croatian post-WW2 émigré community in Argentina, we mainly find adult (and predominantly male) voices on the trauma of the military and political defeat. It is therefore essential to analyse how the 1.5 generation—those who arrived in Argentina as children—narrate their childhood memory of exile. This research employs qualitative methodological tools of discourse and narrative analysis, studying personal testimonies, gathered through semi-structured interviews with members of the 1.5 generation, combined with written, photographic, and audiovisual material.

Elections During the Pandemic: Lessons Learned from the 2020 Early General Elections in Croatia

  • Dario Čepo,
  • Valentino Petrović,
  • Antonio Karlović
This paper proceeds with an overview of the context in which the elections took place, followed by their results, which are compared with previous elections for added understanding of the similarities and differences. The second part of the paper enumerates the consequences of the elections for the political system, the political parties and individual actors, and the society at large. In the conclusion, a projection of the short- and medium-term influence of these elections is given.

“Stop the War in the Name of Children”: Children and Nation Building Through Croatian Patriotic Music (1991-1992)

  • Ivana Polić
While histories of ethnic conflicts and nationalism focus mainly on adult actors, this study seeks to shed light on the importance of children and their centrality to post-socialist nation-building through popular culture. Looking at what in Croatia is known as the War of Independence (or Homeland War), the project focuses on a particular, so far almost completely unexplored, aspect of Croatian nation-building: the role of children in the production, dissemination, and impact of Croatian patriotic music. During the war in Croatia, musicians of all genres joined the effort of “defending the homeland through music,” and their songs and videos were incessantly broadcasted on national television and radio stations.

The Croatian State Theatre in Zagreb and Cultural Policy in the Period of the NDH 1941 - 1945

  • Snježana Banović
This paper explores the hitherto underexplored activity of the Zagreb theatre in the Independent State of Croatia (NDH), which served as a central point for the presentation of the regime’s arts and culture. The aim of the paper is to further explore the developmental tendencies of the closely monitored cultural politics in the Independent State of Croatia which placed the theatre high on the list of priorities of ostensibly authentic Croatian artistic expression. Numerous examples are listed in order to illustrate how, despite frequent spectacular performances and intense international cooperation, artistic freedoms were limited by the narrow principles of the Ustasha movement and the new “moral outlook of the Croatian people” that was valid at the time.

The Image of the Stranger in Post-Yugoslav Films

  • Renate Hansen-Kokoruš
Films produced during the last two decades in the post-Yugoslav states often deal with the subject of these states’ recent history, focusing on the war and its consequences for human beings, as well as the consequences of political and economic transition, such as an increasing wealth gap, criminality, lack of perspectives, unemployment etc. The methods of presentation and modality range from the serious to the comical and grotesque. As these films reflect in special ways people’s new situation in the new post-Yugoslav countries, questions of self-image, understanding of oneself and of the cruel experiences of war are of utmost importance.

Sex and Uncivil Disobedience: Girlhood and Social Class in Transitional Post-Yugoslav Cinema

  • Dijana Jelača
In recent post-Yugoslav cinema, trope of troubled youth in films as diverse as Skinning (Stevan Filipović, 2010, Serbia), Children of Sarajevo (Aida Begić, 2012, Bosnia-Herzegovina), Spots (Aldo Tardozzi, 2011, Croatia) and Quit Staring at My Plate (Hana Jušić, 2017) allows for an inspection of the links between youth rebellion, post-conflict trauma and social class. These cinematic depictions of youth-in-crisis, which I refer to as transitional films, offer insights into locally produced ethno-national identities as challenged by the proliferating transnational networks of connectivity. In this essay, I highlight one provocative example of transitional film – Clip (Maja Miloš, 2012, Serbia).

Post-Yugoslav Film and the Construction of New National Cinemas

  • Nikica Gilić
Post-Yugoslav cinema is commonly seen as a field abundant in nationalist traits, while the work of post-Yugoslav scholars is criticized for advocating the notion of continuity of nations. However, by analyzing the most representative films from Yugoslav and Post-Yugoslav eras, it can be argued that many traits dominant in post-Yugoslav cinema (not exclusively those connected to the prevalence of nationalism) began long before the actual dissolution of Yugoslavia. However abrupt these historical occurrences might have been, Yugoslavia and its cinema still did not sever all ties with the past: the newly forming national cultural traditions and discourses still shared some traits with traditions and discourses from the Yugoslav period of history.

Are ‘United Left’ and ‘Human Blockade’ Populist on Facebook? A Comparative Analysis of Electoral Campaigns

  • Alessandro Albertini,
  • Dina Vozab
This paper aims to analyse the extent to which new political parties in Croatia and Slovenia use populist political communication discourse in social media. This paper focuses on two new parties that entered the parliament in the most recent elections: Živi zid (Human Blockade) in Croatia, and Združena levica (United Left) in Slovenia. The paper will analyse these parties’ political communication on Facebook. The main question guiding the analysis is: to what extent are new parties in Croatia and Slovenia populist in their political communication on Facebook? The method used in the paper will be content analysis, with a Facebook post as a unit of analysis. The content analysis will be performed on posts published over a period of two weeks prior to the general elections (electoral campaigns).

Representations of the ‘Balkans’ in the Foreign Policy Discourses of Croatia, Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • Mitjo Vaulasvirta
The build-up of nationalism in Yugoslavia and its successor states was accompanied by a seismic shift in public discourse, as the national political elites mobilised the rhetoric of Othering in order to distinguish their respective nations from ‘the Balkans’, to construct and reinforce a new national identity, and to endorse European integration. This paper investigates how the discourses of Balkanism and Othering functioned in international relations by examining how the Balkans were represented in the foreign policy articulations of Croatia, Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina during and after the Yugoslav conflicts. By analysing speeches delivered at the UN General Assembly between 1993 and 2003, this paper investigates how Southeast European states constructed their identities on the international stage and capitalised on “Balkan” identity for foreign policy objectives.

Textual Analysis of Populist Discourse in 2014/2015 Presidential Election in Croatia

  • Marijana Grbeša,
  • Berto Šalaj
Populism has been vastly present in Croatian media discourse as a common point of reference but it has been almost completely left out from scientific inquiry. Building on the premise that populism is reflected in communication practices of politicians, parties and movements, this paper uses content analysis to examine interviews of the four presidential candidates during election campaign in Croatia in 2014 (first round) and 2015 (second round). We apply a two-level approach to measure populism on two distinct but related levels - as a thin-centered political ideology and as a political communication style. Populism as ideology is examined through the presence of positive references to the people, relationship to political elites and references to ‘dangerous others’.