Vjeran Pavlaković - Walls of Remembrance: A Comparative Approach to Murals and War Memory

Rosenwald Hall 405, 1115 E. 58th St.

While monuments, street names, memorial museums, and commemorative practices remain at the center of struggles over contested histories in the former Yugoslavia, graffiti, murals and other forms of street art are increasingly serving as new frontlines for these battles over the past. Collective remembrance can facilitate “dealing with the past”, but also allows mnemonic actors to perpetuate ethno-nationalist discourses and hinder reconciliation in post-conflict societies. Once considered subversive and exclusively in the realm of subculture, murals are now reproducing official state war narratives across the region.

A historian and cultural studies scholar, Professor Vjeran Pavlaković is a leading voice on the politics of memory in Southeastern Europe with a particular focus on the landscapes of materialized nationalisms of the former Yugoslavia. He teaches at the University of Rijeka and is actively involved in numerous regional research projects, including as part of the Advisory Board of “REVENANT—Revivals of Empire: Nostagia, Amnesia, Tribulation” a European Research Council grant.

Framing the Nation and Collective Identities: Political Rituals and Cultural Memory of the Twentieth-Century Traumas in Croatia. Edited by Vjeran Pavaković and Davor Pauković, Routledge 2019