With an focus on distinctive uses of popular music in processes of remembering, reinventing, and repurposing Yugoslav past, the panel highlights how musical actors use of a multiplicity of strategies in order to imbuing it with new meaning and to bring a utopic future to the here and now.
The general climate of a dismissal of political idealism and antiutopianism in both Eastern and Western Europe following the collapse of Berlin Wall resulted in the inability to provide any actual critical intervention in concrete societal challenges. In the post-Yugoslav context over the last ten years, many oppositional voices have argued for a utopian rethinking of art's relationship to the social. In a time where leftist projects seem to have been colonized by neo-liberal doctrine or have vanished from the political imagination in post-Yugoslav societies, popular music is used as one of the vehicles for construction a vision of a better day--a utopian and not-yet existing reality. For this panel, we take four case studies from former Yugoslavia where musicians draw on musical material either from the past or signifying the past, reimagining it in performance and imbuing it with new meaning relevant to the current moment and to bring a utopic future to the here and now. With an focus on distinctive uses of music in processes of remembering, reinventing, and repurposing the past, we highlight how musical actors make use of a multiplicity of strategies that reveal both the shared, general aspects of their Yugoslav heritages and the divergent particularities of their past and present circumstances.