The Road (Trip) Home? Migration, Borders and Belonging in Contemporary Bosnian Cultural Production

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Abstract

In the last decade, post-Yugoslav (diasporic) cultural production has experienced an upswing in the emergence of (female-authored, feminist) literature and film that critically engage with the aftermath of displacement, exile and migration following the wars of the 1990s. For this article, I will focus on three recent cultural artefacts that belong to this category: two books – the acclaimed Uhvati Zeca (Catch the Rabbit) by Lana Bastašić (2018) and Deset Šljiva za Fašiste (Ten Plums for Fascists) by Elvira Mujčić (2020) – and one film, Take Me Somewhere Nice, by Ena Sendijarević (2019). I will explore how in these itinerant narratives, Bosnia and the Balkans emerge as a stylistic vehicle, linking the past and present, East and West, as well as questions of belonging and exile. Working at the intersection of postcolonial and postsocialist critique, as well as of border studies and feminist theory, I will analyze how a certain Balkanist discourse is recuperated in the three proposed works. I will argue that this is not a simple reproduction but rather a mimetic engagement with Balkanism by way of the protagonist’s (and by extension – the author’s) critical embedding within its workings.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalBalkanologie
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

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