Special issue :Theatre as a Battlefield for the Memory on the War in Croatia

This paper historicizes the developments in Croatian theatre as a space of fostering debate on the country’s recent past during the war (1991-1995) in three periods: wartime and the post-war transition until Croatia started its European Union accession negotiations (1990-2004), a new wave of dealing with the past from 2005 to 2016, a reverse conservative wave from 2016 to 2019, and the indications of a comeback of counter-memory in 2020, truncated by the pandemic. The study analyses the situation in Croatian society and the main events that affected political and social life, explores the functioning of Croatian theatre institutions, and examines the staged plays, contextualises their plots by explaining the issues and events they treat, and examines the reactions the staged plays provoked, as well as how their effects multiplied beyond the theatre audience. The results showed that after the first period when Croatian playwriting was more focused on war trauma, the theatre opened a crack in the society and contested the hegemonic narrative of a victorious and victim nation. In spite of the reverse trend as of 2013, the counter-memory shown in the theatre crossed the walls and spread to a much bigger audience than that actually watching the plays.

Nikolina Židek

Nikolina Židek

Nikolina Židek is Adjunct Professor at IE University Madrid, School of Global and Public Affairs and member of Research Group Places, marks and territories of memory, at the Memory Studies Nucleus, at IDES, Buenos Aires, Argentina. She received her PhD in political science from the Complutense University. Before entering academia Dr. Židek was previously working for 12 years as Croatian professional diplomat. Her current research is focused on the Croatian post- World War 2 diaspora in Latin America and Spain. Her most recent articles were published in Memory Studies Journal and a volume on political rituals and cultural memory in Croatia, published by Routledge.

1. How does family memory relate to the cultural memory?
2. How do firsthand and secondhand experience to the collective frames of memory on the one hand, and the institutionalized memory on the other?
3. How is traumatic experience shaped over time and how does the intergenerational transmission of memory affect it?


Southeastern Europe