Culture of reminiscing and the media narratives of the conflicts in Croatia

  • Jelena Vasiljević
culture of reminiscing, narratives, war in Croatia, serbian and croatina press


In this paper I am analyzing the use of memories, inscribing images of the past and speci- fic history interpretations present in Serbian and Croatian press published during the conflict in Croatia-period between 1991. and 1995. Although it is concerned with the media and the war in ex-Yugoslavia, the research presented here does not follow the known and many times formulated problem frame, which was conducted by all of these notions in order to de- monstrate their perilous co-dependence-through the role and responsibility of the media in the latest Balkan wars. What I am searching for in this paper are conceptions about war (and wider topics, such as, conflict and its causes). I am interested in the ways war conceptualized itself through the process of transformation/shaping the information from the battlefields into narratives, stories which created war reality, by offering explanatory frame, protagonists, motives, causes and purposes. In that sense, I see the press as an ideal source for studying the production of daily narratives regarding the war, since it reported daily on it, offering various models for elucidating the war and its interpretation, reflecting public perceptions that domi- nated the society. The analyzed material are texts from Serbian and Croatian press that covered the war in the mentioned period of five years-starting from the first war skirmishes in Plitvice up to Croatian "Storm" military operation. The essay is concerned with those texts that make images of the past topical and where collective memories appear as the shapers of the narratives, basis for understanding and self-understanding in the efforts of constructing a point of stability from which comprehending the reality would suggest/impose itself. From these texts we read different stories on war events which refer to history and pre-history in their explanations, bring suppressed emotions, old "truths" which were "proven" in the past and new ideas legitimized in it. They are displayed and analyzed with the idea of pointing to the correlation between the cultures of reminiscing, process of narration and conceptualizing the cognitive patterns for presenting (war) reality.


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How to Cite
Vasiljević, Jelena. 2008. “Culture of Reminiscing and the Media Narratives of the Conflicts in Croatia”. Issues in Ethnology and Anthropology 3 (1), 243-73.