Volume 1, 2010
Politics of Memory in Post-communist Europe
Collective Memory of Communism in Croatia since 1994: Comparative Analysis of Contemporary Arts and National Narratives
The Croatian identity politics, especially after winning its independence from the former Yugoslavia, has focused on the self-image as one of the democratic European countries, not of Communist Balkan. The nostalgic stories about the Croatian kingdom and the image of Croatia as European country has been constructed, exhibited and consumed in Croatia today, displacing and eliminating the heritage of Communism era, the tragedy of the independence war, and the history of Yugoslavia. Croatian contemporary artists, in contrast, try to resist this collective “amnesia”.
My paper analytically compares the attitude of the national cultural industry with the artistic performance and works by several artists in Croatia, focusing on the three mutually related topics: the concept of “Communist Balkan”, the collective memory of the Yugoslav wars and the view towards the cultural heritage which doesn’t fit to the homogeneous history of Croatia.