Contested Narratives, Controversial Rituals: Recent Debates over World War Two Commemorations and the Politics of History in Croatia
Commemorations (and counter-commemorations) of the World War Two antifascist resistance movement in Croatia continue to be a source of debates over both political and ethnic identities. This talk examines the transformation of several memorial days in Croatia during the post-communist transition, in particular focusing on the content of the commemorative speeches given at these political rituals. The official Antifascist Struggle Day (22 June) replaced the former Uprising Day (27 July) after 1990, essentially erasing the latter from Croatia's commemorative culture because it was considered to be too "Serbian". The debates over these World War Two commemorations and their significance in contemporary identity construction have once again intensified as the political leaders in the region have promoted a new commemorative culture and a discourse of reconciliation, especially as Croatia draws closer to the EU. While commemorations at Bleiburg and Jasenovac continue to be in the spotlight over debates about World War Two narratives, this year's commemoration in the town of Srb is illustrative of the clash over the past and increase in politicized counter-demonstrations.
This event will take place in the 4th floor conference room.