TITLE

The Struggle of Memory. Practices of the (Non-)Construction of a Memorial at Omarska

AUTHOR(S)
BRENNER, MANUELA
PUB. DATE
September 2011
SOURCE
Südost-Europa;2011, Vol. 59 Issue 3, p349
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This article analyzes practices and discourses of various interest groups with regard to the construction of a memorial at the former detention camp of Omarska in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The former camp was run by Bosnian Serb authorities and existed from May to August 1992. It is estimated that around 800 detainees lost their lives at the campsite. Omarska became part of the Republika Srpska, the Serb entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, following the Dayton Agreement in 1995. Using hitherto unprocessed material, this article discusses the actors involved in the memorial initiative and the problems they face. Using an actor-centered approach, the article shows that even though it appears at first sight to be an ethnonational conflict about memory, other issues are equally important. For example, the role of outside actors is significant -- particularly that of the company ArcelorMittal, the world's biggest steel producer and owner of the property since 2004, and that of The Soul of Europe, an international organization whose initiators ran a project for a memorial at Omarska in 2005. The case study of Omarska thus offers insights into the complex relationship between politics of memory and memory culture in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
ACCESSION #
67427480

 

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