Special issue :Nationalism and the agency of musical performers in Serbia in the 1990s: A discussion with Dragana Mirković

Research on popular folk music in Serbia and other parts of former Yugoslavia in the 1990s has claimed close ties between performers and Serbian nationalism. Authors have pointed to symbolic links between singers and the regime of Slobodan Milošević and ultra-nationalist public figures. The most notorious example of connections between of folk music performers and Serbian nationalism was the 1995 marriage between popular singer Svetlana Veličković—Ceca—and paramilitary leader Željko Ražnatović—Arkan. This cemented the idea of a symbiotic relationship between pop-folk music and warmongering nationalism that aimed to foster an immoral value system. For example, Ivana Kronja writes that ‘This system of values aimed to establish the cult of crime and violence, war-profiteering, national-chauvinism and provincialism, together with the abandonment of morals, education, legality, and other civic values.’

Rory Archer

Rory Archer

Rory Archer is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Konstanz and an associated researcher at the Centre for Southeast European Studies, University of Graz. He has written on music, nationalism and post-Ottoman legacies, and social history of labour and everyday life in late-socialist Yugoslavia. His current research project examines intra-Yugoslav Albanian migration to Croatia and Slovenia in the second half of the 20th century.


Southeastern Europe