Memorialization of the Past through Artistic Forms: Rememberance of the Partisan Movement during and after Yugoslavia


  • Jelena Vasiljević Institute for philosophy and social theory, University of Belgrade, Serbia



memory culture, art, Yugoslavia, partisans’ struggle, partisans’ monuments, partisans’ songs


In memory studies, the importance of textualization and visualization (cultural mediation) of the socially shared memories of the past is particularly emphasized. However, while the accent is on the issues of the reasons for some representations to become dominant in relation to others, why the preferred images of the past change over time, as well as of the circumstances and actors that facilitate these changes in the choice and representation of the “desirable” past, less attention is paid to the change in the dominant media through which these images are transferred. This paper examines the reasons behind certain socio-political circumstances and historical periods that render particularly relevant some artistic forms in collective representations of the shared past. Can the artistic forms themselves, as the media of transfer of the messages from the past, testify of the socio-historical function of collective memory, as well as of the society that “addresses” its past in this manner? Aiming for the affirmative answer to this question, the text discusses the favoured artistic expressions of the memory of the World War II in three chronological segments in the socialist Yugoslavia and after its collapse, when the memory is 1) marked and institutionalized as the narrative of the partisans’ struggle and victory; 2) disputed and reshaped as the “dissident” narrative; and 3) taken over from the former official memory and transformed into a form of social-cultural critique.


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How to Cite

Vasiljević, Jelena. 2021. “Memorialization of the Past through Artistic Forms: Rememberance of the Partisan Movement During and After Yugoslavia”. Issues in Ethnology and Anthropology 16 (3):899–915.