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Course: Memory and its role in conflict and conflict transformation Lecturer: Orli Friedman ReCom – Memory on the war in ex-Yugoslavia or Memory of fears Course participant: Sakibe Jashari, Kosovo IntroductionInitiative on establishing...

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Which Way to Peace?

Dubravka Kalac Zadar, Croatia >Sometimes, when I walk the streets of my city, late in the evening, when there's only silence present, pictures of  not so distant past strike me, and I...

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Essays (English)

Masculinities and Gender-Based Violence in Conflict and Post-Conflict Settings

Sabine Piccard (Pristina, Kosovo)
Course: Gender, Sexuality and Violent Conflict

Masculinities and Gender-Based Violence in Conflict and Post-Conflict Settings – Addressing the Gap in Violence Against Men 

1. Introduction

The concept of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) generally refers to “violence that occurs as a result of the normative role expectations associated with each gender, along with the unequal power relationships between the two genders, within the context of a specific society” 1. Although the term is subject to different interpretations, GBV targets women and girls, but also men and boys, and includes different types of sexual violence. 2 As Bloom underlines, men and boys can experience violence and suffer from discrimination if “they are deviating from expectations around masculinity” 3. This leads us to the concept of masculinity, developed and theorized by Connell as “a place in gender relations, the practices through which men and women engage that place in gender, and the effects of these practices in bodily experience, personality and cultures” 4.

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Sexual Violence Against Men in Armed Conflicts

Renata Ćuk (Zagreb, Croatia)
Course: Gender, Sexuality and Violent Conflict: Beyond Oppositional Imagination

Sexual Violence Against Men in Armed Conflicts


Many people connect war time sexual violence to the images of the raped Bosnian (Muslim) women that appeared in the news all over the world back in the 1992. Even though sexual violence against women in war times is not a specificity of the armed conflict in ex-Yugoslavia it is exactly this conflict that has brought the issue out in the open. Due to the pressures of the feminists sexual violence against women in wartime became an important issue and more important, it became punishable 1. So, the space for the issue of sexual violence in armed conflicts was definitely created. However, some forms of sexual violence were left invisible, including sexual violence against men. It is interesting to see how little research has been done on this topic.

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Before the Rain or Before the War

Daniela Antonovska (Skopje, Macedonia)
Course; Gender, sexuality and violent conflict

Before the Rain or Before the War 


The films’ script was written by Milcho Manchevski in 1991 after a visit to his birth land, Macedonia. Before the rain shared the Golden Lion of Venice in 1994 and awards from other film festivals, but its highest achievement was an Oscar nomination for best-foreign language film. The events take place in the time when Macedonia was rounded by ethnic conflicts that dominated the life of the bordering countries of Macedonia. This was the result of the war in the former Yugoslavia, whose dissolution led to the former of smaller independent countries. Macedonia was one of them, but its independence and territorial integrity were still disputed. Even though being an independent on the political map of Europe, Macedonia’s population was not homogenous.

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Collective Memory on the Greek Civil War

Course: Memory and its role in conflict and conflict transformation
Lecturer: Orli Fridman

Collective Memory of the Greek Civil War: The Case of the Refugee Children

Course participant: Irena Avirovic, Skopje, Macedonia

As a result of the Greek Civil War of 1946-49, which saw both Macedonian and Greek Communists fighting alongside against the radical right wing in Greece, thousands of ethnic Macedonians were prosecuted or forced to leave the country. Among the refugees, whose number has been contested over the years, there were approximately 28.000 children (i) commonly known as the Refugee Children (Decata Begalci in Macedonian language). During 1948, the partisans helped the systematic evacuation of thousands of children from their native villages in Northern Greece; they were separated from their parents and transported to People’s Republic of Macedonia or Eastern Bloc countries, accompanied by young women, the so-called mothers. (ii)  It is the collective memory of the Refugee Children which I will try to examine in this essay in reference with the course attended and the case studies elaborated: the mnemonic memory in Israel, memory and denial in Srebrenica and memory and amnesia of the Spanish Civil War.
In the attempt of mapping the time (iii) of what happened to the ethnic Macedonian Refugee Children after the Greek Civil War, according to their collective memory, we would outline the following milestones:

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Hierarchy and canonization of memory

Course: Memory and its role in conflict and conflict transformation
Lecturer: Orli Fridman

Hierarchy and Canonization of Memory: Adaptation of Historiography to Socio-political Identity Construction

Course participant: Jasmina Gavrankapetanović-Redžić, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

In his text 'Thinking about silence' (i),  Jay Winter underlines that the dichotomy  between memory and forgetting, that served as theoretical basis in Social Memory Studies for the past 15 years, has reached a level of saturation. The introduction of the category of ‘socially constructed silence’ permits deeper and further analysis and development of Memory Studies. Beside the fact that this concept has no spiritual (theological) dimension, (ii)  it also helps in the attempt to distance us from the Holocaust Studies framework and everything that has appeared in relevant studies since 1980. (iii)

In the following text, I will try to focus on the mechanisms through which certain events are 'canonized' and represent attempts to exemplify the present identity of a given group. Groups form their collective memory by proceeding to a degree of selection within their own historiography and appending more attention to certain events, while other events are suppressed or simply relegated to the background. As an example of this situation we can observe current treatments conferred to ‘partisan memorials’ in opposite to monuments erected after 1995 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. (iv)  In this case, the ideological delineations between (socialist) past and (non-socialist) present are quite clear. The question however becomes interesting when one group focuses on a certain event, no matter how important it might be for the given group, and accords to this particular event a ‘place of honor’ in its members’ collective memory.


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