”We will cry a little but then we will forget”: Narratives of trauma and victory in post-war Yugoslavia

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This chapter explores narratives and experiences of psychological suffering and loss in post-World War II Yugoslavia, focusing on film and literary sources, and psychiatric discussions. After World War II, Yugoslav psychiatric and broader political discussions of trauma were very short-lived and focused almost exclusively on resistance soldiers’ “partisan neurosis.” Antić explores whether this silence was complete, and what political, social and cultural factors may have limited the development of languages of trauma. She describes how, starting in the 1960s, film directors and writers challenged the official narrative of heroic resistance and resilience, and insisted on examining the lasting significance of war-related psychological scars. Such artistic explorations of individual suffering undermined the government’s interpretation of the war victory and critiqued the potential of the postwar order to induce further trauma.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTrauma, Experience and Narrative in Europe after World War II
EditorsVille Kivimaki, Peter Leese
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication date2022
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-84662-6
Publication statusPublished - 2022
SeriesPalgrave Studies in the History of Experience

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