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Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton April 30, 2015

Coming to Terms with Horror

The ‘Ghosts’ of the ‘ex-Yugoslav’ Wars and Psycho-politics after Communism

Fatima Festić
From the journal Chinese Semiotic Studies


The paper discusses the possibilities of building a framework for conceptualization and understanding of the effects of the atrocities committed upon the collapse of ‘ex-Yugoslavia’. It relates the war-horrors and personal and collective traumas to the everyday of the people(s) of both the communist and post-communist times, and includes empirical cross-references from the social relations, cultural, educational and political contexts while revealing the ambivalent meanings of the ‘ghosts of the past’ and of their ‘return’. In rethinking the notions of the signifier, representation, the abject from the social/the symbolic, the text argues for the centrality of memory work based on victims’ experiences and their articulation in public spaces in the post-war societies. Envisioning the move forward and safer inter-ethnic relations on the discussed territories argues for individual responsibility in the processes of (re)construction and (re)formation of complex personal, collective and national identities, lived memory and institutions and in attempts to inter- and intracommunicate the particularized units.

Published Online: 2015-4-30
Published in Print: 2015-5-1

© 2015 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston