Being “stuck” and “out of time”. The case of former officers of the Yugoslav People’s Army in Serbia
Paper short abstract:
Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork, the paper explores the spatiotemporal practices of former officers of the Yugoslav People's Army and their families who live in “collective centres”. It focuses on the categories of hope and home in situations of being “distimed” and “displaced”.
Paper long abstract:
The (post)-Jugoslav’s wars have caused forced and irregular migration
and numerous displacements between former republics of Yugoslavia.
Among those, who had or were forced to move were also officers of the
Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) and their families. Many of them came to
Serbia in the 1990s, however, they continue to “be spatially stuck”
and “out of time” long after the wars have ended.
Together with their families, they now live in the so-called
“collective centres” (i.e., ex-military buildings, barracks, abandoned
surgeries, laundry and drying rooms, military prisons, former
dormitories, shops or warehouses). Thus, I am interested in how do
people make home and seek future, while being “distimed” and
“displaced”. Former officers of JNA and their families are stuck
between (and betwixt) state recognition and social oblivion; hence,
hope (or its lacking), the experiences of time and place and their
social and cultural organization become an important element in
anthropological problematisations. On the one hand, for some former
officers, the uncertain present-day and harsh living conditions, makes
the past appear to be a "safety net", while the future remains
unknown, hopeless and deprived from meaning. But for others, hope is a
vehicle for muddling through, and the ways it is experienced and used
in future-oriented practices reveal the unspoken fears and traumas of
being “stuck” and “out of time”.
Trapped in space, stuck in time? Exploring irregular migration, time and im/mobility