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Prime Time Nationalism: The Role of Television Broadcasts / Archives in the Aftermath of the Yugoslav Wars

Friday, May 13, 2016, 12:00 pm – Saturday, May 14, 2016, 5:30 pm

Prime Time Nationalism | The Role of Television Broadcasts/Archives in the Aftermath of the Yugoslav Wars

A conference and workshop organized by the Donald and Vera Blinken Open Society Archives (OSA) at Central European University (CEU) with support  from CEU Conferences and Academic Events Fund (CAEF)

May 13-14, 2016 | Budapest

The manipulative role of state televisions in the outbreak and during the Yugoslav wars has been widely written about in academia and acknowledged in numerous cases before the ICTY. Television was routinely used to varying extents by all warring parties as an efficient tool in strengthening their own identity, creating the image of and instigating against an enemy, silencing or getting rid of dissenting voices and masking their own crimes committed during the armed conflict. In the hand of political leaders, who understood the influence and importance of propaganda, wartime television set the national agenda and framed the events, informed or misinformed its audiences, and formed or changed public opinion. Instead of being a powerful tool serving the public, it proved to be a public tool serving the political power.

In this context, OSA now invites participants to a conference and workshop to assess the role of television broadcasts in the years immediately succeeding the Dayton Agreement through a careful examination of OSA’s media monitoring collection, which includes state television broadcasts from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and FR Yugoslavia from 1996 to 1999, and some Serbian independent television programs from 1993 to 1996. By the help of media studies professionals, social and cultural anthropologists, historians, sociologists, archivists, and visual artists, as well as graduate students across CEU, we will discuss how television influenced and shaped the postwar national identity, recovery and development of the signatory states, and the lasting effect on their contemporary evolution in the light of a regional reconciliation. At the same time, we will seek to understand and offer new meanings for this broadcast archives by looking at OSA’s recently introduced, self-reflexive (re)archiving of it and the questions emerged during this process.

The workshop aims at finding new and innovative ways of using the broadcast archives in historical and political science research, education and arts. During the half-day interactive group work, we will strive to come up with concrete, implementable project proposals, which then will be desirably realized by participants upon their returning home, and published online.

Friday | May 13, 2016

12:00 – 13:00 Registration of participants | Buffet lunch

13:00 – 13:15 Introduction

Yugoslavia Archive Project (YAP) team | Katarina Kosmina (MA International Relations, CEU), Ana Ćuković (MA Nationalism Studies, CEU), Nikola Kosović (MA Political Science, CEU), Perica Jovchevski (MA Philosophy, CEU), Csaba Szilágyi (Project leader, Blinken OSA)

13:15 – 14:45 Television broadcasts as historical and social science research source

Idikó Erdei (Associate Professor, Belgrade University, Serbia) | Ethnography of TV communication: what we have learnt from the nineties experience

Sabina Mihelj (Professor, Loughborough University, UK) | Approaches to television and nationalism: cross-country comparison, longitudinal analysis, popular culture and audience research

Amer Džihana (Executive Director, Media Watchdog Platform, BiH) | The importance of researching TV programs in the ex-YU region

   Chair: Oksana Sarkisova (Research Fellow, Blinken OSA, CEU)

14:45 – 15:15 Coffee break

15:15 – 16:45 Archiving and performing the archives of television broadcasts

Ivica Ðorđević (Author and editor, Media Archaeology Group, Serbia) | Media Archaeology

Mila Turajlić (Documentary filmmaker, Serbia) | History on trial: the role of TV documentary series in post-Yugoslav memory wars

Šejla Kamerić (Artist, BiH) | Ab uno disce omnes

Iva Kontić (Artist and curator, Serbia, Italy) | Mechanical dream catching in dormitory, 25 May & I whistle, you whistle, we whistle: reenactment of collective flashbacks

   Chair: Csaba Szilágyi (Project leader, Blinken OSA)

16:45 – 17:00 Coffee break

17:00 – 18:00 Film screening and discussion

   Room without a view: inside the processing of former Yugoslav television broadcasts | Produced by the YAP team

Saturday | May 14, 2016

9:00 – 10:30 (Re)producing narratives of identity and victimhood, and memory

Novak Vučo (Assistant Prosecutor, Office of the War Crimes Prosecutor, Serbia) | Reporting after the arrest of the first ICTY indictees and at the beginning of the armed conflict in Kosovo in 1998 and early 1999

Katarina Ristić (Research Associate, Helmut Schmidt University, Germany) | War crime trials and nationalism in the Balkans

Hariz Halilovich (Associate Professor, RMIT University, Australia) | Reimaging and reimagining the war: the role of visual records in constructing memory and identity in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina

Elissa Helms (Associate Professor, CEU) | Gendered nationalism and narratives of victimhood after the Bosnian war

   Chair: Nenad Dimitrijević (Professor, CEU)

10:30 – 11:00 Coffee break

11:00 – 12:30 Lasting effects of television propaganda on national discourses and reconciliation

Nidžara Ahmetasević (Journalist and independent scholar, BiH) | Speaking the language of hate

Sven Milekić (Journalist, Balkan Investigative Report Network, Croatia) | Broadcasting petrified Croatian national narratives

Lazar Lalić (Journalist and film producer, ARHITEL, Serbia) | Consequences of media abuse

   Chair: Endre Bojtár B. (Editor-in-chief, Magyar Narancs [Hungarian Orange], Hungary)

12:30 – 14:00 Buffet lunch | Guided tour of OSA

14:00 – 15:30 Workshop | Part I

15:30 – 16:00 Coffee break

16:00 – 17:30 Workshop | Part II

Find the full program of the conference in the attachement.

For more information, contact Csaba Szilágyi |