Media and Cultural Memory / Medien und kulturelle Erinnerung, 27
Berlin: De Gruyter, 2020

Mere decades after the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the promise of European democracy seems to be out of joint. What has become of the once-shared memory of victory over fascism? Historical revisionism and nationalist propaganda in the post-Yugoslav context have tried to eradicate the legacy of partisan and socialist struggles, while Yugonostalgia commodifies the partisan/socialist past. It is against these dominant ‘archives’ that this book launches the partisan counter-archive, highlighting the symbolic power of artistic works that echo and envision partisan legacy and rupture. It comprises a body of works that emerged either during the people’s liberation struggle or in later socialist periods, tracing a counter-archival surplus and revolutionary remainder that invents alternative protocols of remembrance and commemoration. The book covers rich (counter-)archival material – from partisan poems, graphic works and photography, to monuments and films – and ends by describing the recent revisionist un-doing of the partisan past. It contributes to the Yugoslav politico-aesthetical “history of the oppressed” as an alternative journey to the partisan past that retrieves revolutionary resources from the past for the present.

xiii + 309 pp., ISBN 978-3-11-068139-0
[De Gruyter]

Table of Contents


Introduction: The ‘Primitive Accumulation’ of Revisionist Memory: A Plea for the Partisan Counter-Archive

  1. The Three Impossibilities of the Partisan Counter-Archive: Politics, Art and the ‘Anti-Memory’ of Rupture
  2. Early Partisan Photography, Film and Poetry (1941-1945): An Oath to Past and Future Struggles
  3. Continuing the Partisan Rupture by Other Means: From Black Wave Films to Late Modernist Monuments to Revolution (1960s-70s)
  4. Undoing the Partisan Counter-Archive? From Nationalist(ic) Reconciliation to the Rehabilitation of Fascism

Conclusion: Retrieving the Counter-Archive Beyond Yugoslavia

Afterword: Concrete Utopia Lasts Forever — Branko Miljkovic’s Yugoslavia

List of Images