Essays 2009 - Activism Reloaded

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Essays

Collective Memory on the Greek Civil War

Course: Memory and its role in conflict and conflict transformationLecturer: Orli Fridman Collective Memory of the Greek Civil War: The Case of the Refugee Children Course participant: Irena Avirovic, Skopje, Macedonia As a...

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Peace Academy Reflection

Tory Tevis I would like to begin my reflection on the Sarajevo Peace Academy by first stating how difficult it was to settle on a topic to write about.  All the...

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Artistic Activism or Activist Art

This essay was written and is only available in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian

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Reflections on Ubleha

Anastas Vangeli

Introduction: Ubleha as a reference point

If there is an adequate explanation of the state of the civil society in the Post-Yugoslav (Western) Balkans, then it is the one offered by the authors on the topic of the Ubleha. The essence of the concept, is the deconstruction of the distorted self-centrism and the lack of purpose the civil society actors are facing; at the same time it is a very accurate observation of a failed translation of a western ideal into a post-communist context.

From the reflections on Ubleha by the original authors Šavija and Milanovi?, and from the further analysis offered by Stubbs, one clearly has in mind what the Ubleha means -  it is a cause for itself far from any known system of values and ideals. Its soul is humane, but it smells like clientelism; it declares a sincere quest for a better world, but the real driving force behind it is the quest for an immediately better life of its actors.

However, the point of this paper is to argue that even though the image of the civil society in the region can be described as Ubleha, it still is a progressive phenomenon that plays mostly a constructive role in the peace-building processes. The Ubleha of the Western Balkans may be considered to be not even close to the ideal of civil society, but at the same time, it is an inevitable and a major step towards a western liberal-democratic type of civil society that is proclaimed to be the goal all the Post-Yugoslav countries pursue.

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