Aarhus Universitetsforlag

Post-War Identification

Everyday Muslim Counterdiscourse in Bosnia Herzegovina

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315 pages
ISBN 978 87 7934 313 9



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About the book

Post-war identification is a unique ethnographic study of the remaking of post-war life in a small ethnically mixed town in Bosnia Herzegovina. During the war in the 1990's the local Muslim population was expelled, but today has returned to live alongside former enemies. These people are trying to piece together a life from broken fragments that consists of war-related traumas, nationalist propaganda, ruined economies, disappointment, and memories of pre-war life. In this shattered world Torsten Kolind identifies an everyday based, anti-nationalistic counterdiscourse strongly rooted in pre-war life. This resistance is seldom outspoken, but consists rather of a steady insistence on not using ethnic or national categories in identifying oneself and/or others. In a world of despair, the Muslim everyday counterdiscourse gives hope for future coexistence, and points to the intriguing fact that reconcilement often develops from the bottom up, rather than in the political corridors of power.

Torsten Kolind's focus on everyday resistance is a highly relevant contribution to comtemporary anthropological discussions of the relation between discourse, power, nationalism, and violence.

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