Space Place, and Memory as Context for Landscapes of Communal Trauma in Bosnia

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Ivana Topalovic Mora

Abstract

Communal trauma is a key topic in a time where masses are exposed to traumatic events, such as war, famine, or natural disasters.  Bosnia is a site where we can see how communal trauma manifests itself onto the social and physical landscape over a period of twenty years.  Political and socio-cultural decisions are made constantly on how to process the trauma of the 1990s civil war.  These decisions manifest themselves in public works, such as sculptures, places of worship and memorials, or even just tagging on walls.  This paper examines how these decisions affect the landscape and the people living in it.  How memorials oftentimes act as conduits for triggered memories, rather than cathartic expression, and how the politics of memory often leave those they are trying to help behind, such as women's trauma and craft collectives. 

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