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HadžiMuhamedović, Safet (2013) Chronotopes or Elijah’s Pitfall: Sharing Life and Death in the Bosnian Town of Gacko. In: Thinking Memory through Space: Materiality, Representation and Imagination, 11-12 July 2013, Goldsmiths, University of London. (Unpublished)

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This paper proposes that the field of anthropological inquiry in the south-eastern Bosnian town of Gacko should be found in the complex interplay of historical, mythical and intimate time and place. To make these processes intelligible and indicate the indivisibilities of temporal and spatial arrangements, I employ the notion of chronotopes (timeplaces) (cf Bakhtin 1984; May and Thrift 2001; Ramo 1999). Two overarching collective memories link and dichotomise Gacko’s Serbs and Muslims. One memory speaks about the cycle of life. The other speaks about the cycle of death. In the first memory, the groups share the same ‘time’ in two different places. In the second memory they share the same ‘place’ but relegate it to two different temporalities. The first point in this collective memory is Ilindan or Aliđun, the Day of Saint Elijah, which stands at the end of the harvest period. It commemorates cyclical time and social cohesion, but also a synchronic and diachronic syncretism in the town, which was ‘ethnically’ cleansed during the 1990s. The second memory is Korićka Jama or Jama Dizdaruša, a natural abyss used as a convenient dumpster for corpses of murdered Gacko residents on at least two occasions during the first half of the twentieth century. Ironically, as the loci of St Elijah’s Day celebrations grew further apart, bodies of Muslims and Serbs entered a new, morbid intimacy in a mass grave.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Items (Paper)
Keywords: chronotopes, Elijah's Day, mass graves, Gacko, Bosnia
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Anthropology & Sociology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2019 12:16
Related URLs: http://thinking ... /p/panel-4.html (Organisation URL)
Funders: Other

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