Journal for Peace and Justice Studies

Volume 30, Issue 1/2, 2021

Nerzuk Ćurak
Pages 3-20

Memory of Oblivion and Oblivion of Memory
Culture of Denial in Post-Dayton Bosnia and Herzegovina

Nationalist narratives in Bosnia and Herzegovina generate organized hypocrisy against the culture of memory which involves different protagonists of this society. The real name of the culture of memory of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the culture of denial. This is the very structure of its culture. By examining the perpetuation of memory into organized oblivion as a particular form of structural and cultural violence, the author will establish scholarly and axiological criteria in favor of the creation of conditions to end the culture of oblivion. In contrast to the ontology of oblivion, as an instrument of the culture of denial, this article affirms Emmanuel Levinas’s principle of the responsibility for the Other, as a relationship of pure holiness, as an a priori ethical requirement. Also, to reinforce the argument in favor of a responsible culture of memory in the face of its ideological stagnation, the author also examined critical objection to culture of memory by radical left intellectuals, in whose view culture of memory inhibits emancipation of the oppressed class. Although such argumentation should not be dismissed outright, it dances around the reality of post-conflict communities like Bosnia and Herzegovina, where war victims cry for justice, and hold it as important as their very existence.