Tre städer, två broar och ett museum : minne, politik och världsarv i Bosnien och Hercegovina
Sammanfattning: The thesis deals with ritual remembrance ceremonies enacted in the three towns of Mostar, Jajce and Višegrad in BiH. The Old Bridge in Mostar, the Bridge over the Drina in Višegrad and the AVNOJ Museum in Jajce all carry a material presence that influences everyday life in these localities. Through ethnographic fieldwork, insights into local practices in relation to those World Heritage Sites are produced that show the meaning that is attached to them in a local, national, post-Yugoslav and international context: How are they used today, by whom and why, and how is UNESCO’s cultural policy adopted, valued and reinterpreted at the interface of a post-war context?
Methodologically, the study is based on a phenomenological approach. This offers an analytical focus on the practice of agency – on the outcomes of agency rather than its causes – that stress the importance of experience instead of structures and patterns. Thus, the question that is brought to the fore is what cultural heritage and memory are doing. In short, this underlines the dimension of the tactical and referring to de Certeau’s uses of notion rather than the strategic when dealing with monuments and material cultural heritage. The thesis is based on a wide range of empirical material, including participant observations, field notes, interviews, newspaper reports, web portal reports and video-documentation.
The three World Heritage Sites stand out as examples of different cultural processes. The Old Bridge in Mostar was supposed to embody peace and reconciliation on the part of the international community, but in actual fact became a monument that represented the division of the town at a local level. In Višegrad the bridge, against all intentions, stood out as a national, Serb memorial of victory over adversaries. In both towns the national dimension was crucial for maintaining the ethnic division. However, in Jajce the application to UNESCO engaged many parts of civil society and brought multiple dimensions of the past in contact with contemporary life in the town. Here a detailed ethnography could show how cultural heritage helps to define who has the right to remember and who is prevented from accessing the past. From this perspective, monuments stand out as malleable material that acquires meaning in relation to a wide range of events and actors.
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