Wednesday, 26. October
City Museum of Ljubljana, 10.00 – 12.00

  • Borka Pavićević, Centre for Cultural Decontamination, Serbia
  • Manuela Bojadžijev, Humboldt University, Germany
  • Nita Luci, University of Prishtina, Kosovo
  • Florence Hartmann, journalist and human rights activist, France

Moderator: Lana Zdravković, Peace Institute, Slovenia

Borka Pavićević is a founder and director of the Centre for Cultural Decontamination – Veljković Pavilion, Belgrade, Serbia since 1994. She has been a stage director in Theater “Atelier 212″, Belgrade (10 years) and in BITEF, Belgrade’s annual international festival of avant-garde theater (20 years) as well as in various theaters in former Yugoslavia (1978-1991). She was a part of the artistic movement KPGT – acronym for the word “theater” in Croatian, Serbian, Montenegrin, Slovenian and Macedonian languages (1984-1991), and was artistic director in Belgrade Drama Theater, from where she was removed in 1993 because of her public and political statements. She is the founder of “New Sensibility” theatre at old Belgrade brewery (1981) and the co-president and founder of “Belgrade Circle”, an organization of independent intellectuals.

Borka is a regular columnist in newspapers: Susret, Vreme (since its inception) and Danas. Her published works include essays: At X: Post-Dayton Fashion (Novi Pazar 1998) and Fashion (Belgrade 1994); ‘Do you remember?’ in The Other Serbia (Belgrade 1992); and many articles in newspapers, magazines and journals. Translated works include, as co-author, Belgrad, mein Belgrad, edited by Ursula Rutten (Rotbuch Verlag, Hamburg 1998). Since 1991 she is one of the most engaged public personae participated in different anti-war actions in whole former Yugoslavia. She is recipient of the “Otto Rene Castillo Award for Political Theater” (New York 2000); the “Hiroshima Foundation Prize for Peace and Culture” (2004); the “Winning Freedom Prize”, by the Maja Maršićević Tasić Foundation (Belgrade 2005); “Routes Award” by ECF, (Amsterdam 2009/2010), and the “Legion d’Honneur” by the Government of the Republic of France (2001).

The Western Balkans and Europe

The topic or field of meaning, of Europe 2020, and the future of the European Union, is of great importance, especially because the ideas of how to continue living together in the consistently growing numbers of humanity and the incessantly decreasing resources are essential, in terms of the everyday, which, of course, depends on the ideas of reality, or how we think reality.

Reality, on the one hand, is more complex and rich with much novelty, and on the other challenging and exciting. At the same time, events that we certainly did not expect shed light on the cumulative work “time on the understanding of reality” that is, everything that we did not notice it, and there was. Brecht’s “small street scene”, the event that is a warning, often remains unreadable – firstly because reading it takes will and secondly because the principle of survival stand before the fullness of life.

It is quite logical this conference refers to Balibar – European nations, or citizens of Europe. Somewhere nineties Agnes Heller said that with the fall of the idea of ​​progress in Yugoslavia, Europe would be confronted with the movement for which she thought were long outdated, religious, ethnic and nationalist. Therefore, it is possible to experience the breakup of Yugoslavia, or the war for the destruction of Yugoslavia can be a valuable resource for the future “development” in Europe and the question of its meaning, in addition to economic, market, commercial trends.

Manuela Bojadžijev is an Assistant Professor at the Institute for European Ethnology at the Humboldt University Berlin, Germany. Before that, she has been working as a Lecturer at the Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London, UK and at the New York University Branch in Berlin. She teaches courses in social and political theory, migration theory and history, postcolonial theory, urbanism, racism theory, ethnographic methodology and culture. Bojadžijev co-edited the book Konjunkturen des Rassismus (Westfälisches Dampfboot, Münster 2001), and Turbulente Ränder. Neue Perspektiven auf Migration an den Grenzen Europas (Transcript, Bielefeld 2007). Her single-authored book, Die windige Internationale. Rassismus und Kämpfe der Migration is published by Westfälisches Dampfboot in 2008.

Social Struggles and Constitution of Political Communities

In my contribution I want to reflect on the social struggles in metropolitan zones. I will take it as an occasion for addressing some questions in the theoretical debates about the ‚political’ in Europe today. I will start by recalling the November 2005 uprisings in the French banlieues and draw connections to the August 2011 revolts in the UK. In both situations the question discussed in the broader public has been: What do these young people want? Is this a “yet to be politicized” form of articulation? While I will discuss these questions by looking into the conditions of the crisis of capital, global migration and the emergence of transnational spaces, the current conjuncture of racism in Europe belongs to my main focus: How does it intervene in the constitution of political communities? And what will we do about it?

Nita Luci is a lecturer at the Departments of Ethnology and Sociology, University of Prishtina, Kosovo, and ABD in the Department of Anthropology, University of Michigan -Ann Arbor, USA. Her research has focused on topics of gender and manhood, body, memory, and violence. In addition to her academic pursuits and career, she has also worked with initiatives in the area of contemporary art (such as editing the publication of four supplements in the daily Koha Ditore, titled ‘Women n/or Witches, Focusing on Issues of Representation, Feminism and Art’). She is also a member of the network “Forum 2015”, and a former advisor for the UNDP project Women’s Safety and Security Initiative. In addition to numerous articles and book chapters, her recent publications include: Kosovo: Un/welcomed Guests; NATO Intervention in Kosovo; Events and sites of difference: Mark-ing self and other in Kosovo; and The Politics of Remembrance and Belonging: Life Histories of Albanian Women in Kosovo.

Kosovo’s European Belonging: The Politics of Class and Culture

A debate between writers Ismail Kadare (Albania) and Rexhep Qosja (Kosovo) developed during 2006, at the moment when Albania was preparing to enter an EU Stabilization and Association Agreement cantered on elaborations of the Occidental and Oriental character of Albanian culture and was subsequently joined by the wider public. Kadare argued that Albanian culture was in its foundations and history European. Qosja, on the other hand, pointed to the relevance of historical influences from the Ottoman Empire, arguing against Kadare’s essentialism, but added that Ottoman “leftovers” are “examples of non-Europe” that do not belong in Albanian culture. Enis Sulstarova, a historian, has treated these seemingly opposing arguments as an expression of “an Albanian derivation from European Occidentalism,” specifically of its intellectuals. Placed in the context of Kosovo, this debate revealed as much about the social and political anxieties of cultural association with the Orient, as acceptance to the Occident.

Therefore, this paper aims to identify and interrogate the politics of culture underlying the intellectual positions of this debate, and what they may tell us about hopes for accession to the European Union. In particular, the paper argues that post-war and post-socialist restructurings have created new class distinctions in Kosovo, albeit rarely recognized, where the promise of European belonging – as a solution to unemployment, free movement, and cultural distinction – creates an economy of social practices that mesh with clashing historical, cultural, and political ideologies.

Florence Hartmann started her carrier at the French daily Le Monde for which she covered the war in Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina as its special correspondent in the Balkans until 1994 and later as Le Monde special envoys. In 1999, she published in France a political biography of Slobodan Milosevic, Milosevic, la diagonale du fou (Denoël/Gallimard) in which she revealed how Belgrade strong man was involved in the war and the crimes committed in Serbia’s neighbouring countries.

In 2000, she left Le Monde in Paris to become the ICTY and ICTR chief prosecutor‘s spokesperson and Balkan advisor under the mandate of Carla Del Ponte. In 2007, a year after she left The Hague, she published Paix et Châtiment (Flammarion), a book on the conflicts between international justice and international politics which was also translated into Slovene and issued by Sanje in Slovenia in 2009. Florence Hartmann has since return to journalism and research on international affairs and post-conflict management. She is also member of the Serbian NGO Humanitarian Law Centre executive board.

Europe Between the Fall of the Berlin Wall and Utoya

Will European construction ideals survive the current financial and social crisis, the most serious Europe has ever faced?  Before a reasoned answer could be formulated we can observe the failure to crystallize European identity or consciousness, the failure to share common and complex memories, the strengthening of asymmetric relations, the increasing reinforcement of the “us” vs. “them” mentality in European societies, and the firm believes of the “3 Bigs” (France, the UK, Germany) that multiculturalism is a failed model. In other words, will the European integration process succeed to create security and stability in the Balkan States before Europe enters a process of fragmentation and dissolution as the Former Yugoslavia in 1990-1991? I will reflect on the path taken by Europe between the fall of the Berlin Wall and Utoya.