Living (Critically) in the Present: Youth Activism in Mostar (Bosnia Herzegovina)

Carabelli, Giulia (2013) Living (Critically) in the Present: Youth Activism in Mostar (Bosnia Herzegovina). European Perspectives – Journal on European Perspectives of the Western Balkans, 5 (1). pp. 50-67. ISSN 1855-7694. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Abstract

This paper reflects upon the conditions and implications of living in a protracted state of social and political crisis. Through these considerations, I will explore the strategies implemented by a youth organisation in Mostar that deals with the socio-political inconsistencies of the post-conflict scenario. The paper starts by unravelling the significance of the particular form of normalised crisis by discussing how the problem-solving approach to the Bosnia Herzegovina emergency created by the wars in the 90s led to the creation of a political and administrative system unable to guarantee stability. In particular, the paper critically engages with the present of Mostar, characterised by stillness, immobility, stagnancy, and the general withdrawal from a proactive engagement with politics. The specificity of Mostar as a city, where nothing seems to happen, leads to the perception that change is difficult to achieve or even to imagine. Yet, this paper is also interested in providing a glimpse of how living in a critical present empowers young activists who feel the urge to create moments of urban disruptions in which the very possibility of a more just and peaceful future could be imagined. In particular, this paper critically examines the activities implemented by Abart, a platform for art production and urban research with the aim of exploring the ways in which creative practice becomes an instrument of political intervention. Further, this paper argues that by embracing nostalgia, as a means of re-appropriating Yugoslav ideals of peace and togetherness among different ethno-national communities, young activists draw on the past to critically imagine how a different future could be built.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Mostar, Crisis, Nostalgia, Grassroots Social Movements, Politics of Art.
Subjects: H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Medway
Depositing User: Mita Mondal
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2014 11:54 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2014 08:22 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/40844 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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