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Partisans. Narrative, Staging and Afterlife

A Workshop on Partisan Rhetoric and Visual Culture in and beyond Yugoslavia

The ubiquitous Partisan Narrative served Yugoslavia well in its post World War II nation building and the re-education of its newly united people. While its role as founding myth and its retrospective deconstruction received significant academic attention since the break-up of Yugoslavia, less efforts have been made to explore the consistency of the Partisan Narrative, its – still ongoing – transformation processes and transitions into popular (visual) culture(s).  

Workshop: "Partisans. Narrative, Staging and Afterlife"
from 7 July until 9 July, 2011
Main Building, Room 2103, 1st floor
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Unter den Linden 6, 10117 Berlin

This workshop will focus on the Partisan Narrative, its imagery, staging and its decades-long success in different arts in order to understand the present afterlife of the partisan: In Post-Yugoslavia as well as in global contexts the figure of the partisan and Partisan Rhetoric, with its specific strategies and inherently polemic style, have continuously served a number of dissenting discourses – from yugosphere to anti-globalization activism. According to Michel Foucault: “Polemics defines alliances, recruits partisans, unites interests or opinions, represents a party; it establishes the other as an enemy, an upholder of opposed interests against which one must fight until the moment this enemy is defeated and either surrenders or disappears.” In that respect, partisanship asserts the alleged will of an avant-garde inaugurated by it and oscillates between polemic articulations of dissent and (new) notions of totality undoing postmodernist dissemination. The workshop looks into the hybrid nature of partisans in (Post-)Yugoslavia – and beyond. What does partisanship actually mean within different Yugoslav periods? How is it narrated, staged, and visualized, and what are the recurring patterns? Which elements become part of the manifold partisan revival phenomena? Is there something like a conscious and unconscious afterlife of the partisan in art?

Details on the workshop and its schedule:

Prof. Dr. Miranda Jakiša
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Slavic Studies
Unten den Linden 6
10099 Berlin