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Post-cold war trajectories of memory and oblivion in Bulgaria and Kosovo

[journal article]

Gkartzonika, Elena

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Abstract The article offers a comparative analysis of two monumental constructions that carry changes of both the Cold War and post-1990's Balkan state rhetoric. The current state of both monuments highlight concrete and complex attitudes of disseminating new versions of contemporary dilemmas, namely the mutations of the once heroic Cold War national/socialist collective memory. Along with their initial national symbolism and ideological usage in political discourse, we are interested in investigating how political changes incorporate social crises, only to become their echo. Bridging present/past attitudes, this deconstructive tautology prevents social vigilance and, thus, democratization. Suffice is to mention two cases. First, the slogan "Forget your past" was written recently between the Communist Manifesto's citation over the entrance of the ravaged monument on Buzludža’s peak. Secondly, there are soldiers who are guarding the entrance of Gazimestan, where the 14th c. "Kosovo Curse" is inscribed. Both case-studies illustrate contrasts between memory and oblivion, empathy, pride or repression, all imposed on emotional appeal along with a hegemonic imaginary that is regulated only by the relations of power and its ideological support system to itself.
Keywords collective memory; nationalism; memorial; Southeastern Europe; democratization; Bulgaria; Kosovo; post-communist society; cold war; rhetoric; coming to terms with the past
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture
Document language English
Publication Year 2011
Page/Pages p. 725-736
Journal Studia Politica : Romanian Political Science Review, 11 (2011) 4
ISSN 1582-4551
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works