An archive to build a future: The recovery and rediscovery of the history of socialist associations in contemporary Bosnia-Herzegovina, Larisa Kurtović, Journal History and Anthropology

November, 2018
ISSN: 1477-2612
Link to online article on Taylor and Francis


This paper chronicles the ongoing efforts of several groups of Bosnian activists, artists and academics, to create archives of the often forgotten, and nowadays variously threatened, heritage of political and social life during Yugoslav socialism. Postsocialist archives in other parts of Eastern Europe have typically been motivated by the need to ‘settle accounts’ with communism, understood in this context to be a totalitarian project. By contrast, these ongoing archiving efforts in the postwar and postsocialist Bosnia-Herzegovina, are created in order to recuperate and repurpose the unrealized potentials of Yugoslav socialism, and to use this history to reseed contemporary political imaginaries. I show how these post-Yugoslav activist-archives are working to recover a form of transformational historical subjectivity which seems profoundly necessary in the current political moment, marked by political disenchantment and the devastating effects of the postsocialist transition.

KEYWORDS: ArchivespostsocialismactivismBosnia-HerzegovinaYugoslav studies

Based on the interview conducted with Adela Jušić, author is analyzing Online archive of Antifascist struggle of women of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Yugoslavia (, created by Adela Jušić and Andreja Dugandžić.  Article features few Jušić’s artworks related to its topic.

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