Accepted paper:

Outlining new vision of Croatian future: war-veteran protests


Kristina Uzelac (Central European University, Budapest)

Paper short abstract:

This presentation will focus on the role of collective memory as a resource for mobilization inside social movement. This will be discussed through the example of war-veterans protests in Croatia.

Paper long abstract:

The presentation is based on the short ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Zagreb and Vukovar in the period between April and December 2013 during the first wave of war-veterans protests in Croatia. Besides of fieldwork materials, the analysis includes media reports and public statements made by different social actors. The aim of this analysis is to detect contentious historical issues which hinder possible dialogue between ideologically conflicted actors in the contemporary Croatian society. The micro (narratives from the interviews) and macro (statements from politicians, leaders of veteran associations and other actors represented in media reports) level of the discussion about those events can be reduced to the issue of collective memory. Diverse interpretations of current and future politics are often connected with different criteria for the evaluation of the national history. The discrepancy between official politics of memory and the culture of remembrance (the distinction made by Jan Assman) was one of the causes for the social movement initiated by veterans. According to some preliminary results, the interplay between past and present in the interpretations of current political decisions and agencies has a conflict potential which can be turned into resource for mobilization on social action.

panel P005
Forms of memory transitions: processes and possible outcomes