Relics, revolts and Rugova: Contesting narratives in the (national) museum of Kosovo

Activity: Talk or presentationAcademic

James Leigh - Speaker

    Since declaring independence in 2008, Kosovo has had to contend with a pressing need to construct new foundations of nationhood, vital for forging greater institutional and socio-political legitimacy at a time of societal upheaval in a state lacking deep historical roots. Until now, nation-building activities centred around creating new state symbols and forging new (political) frameworks which attempt to shape Kosovo through provision of legal codification, as well as cultivating a specific ideational culture and associated values and practices. These developments serve a deeper purpose in producing new symbols and narratives of what ‘Kosovo’ stands for.
    Such processes are intrinsically accompanied by a tentative germination of ideas of a ‘Kosovo people’ and their history. Given the traumatic recent past of the region, creating one acceptable, unified historical account appears a complicated task. The potential challenges are encapsulated in recent updates to Kosovo’s (national) museum, which have resulted in a space where underlying socio-cultural conflicts linger, and contesting narratives of Kosovo and its people vie for room and voice.
    This talk considers how both the contents and curation of the museum reflect these issues, analysing which elements are presented as belonging to Kosovo’s history, and considering underlying implications of the exhibits’ roles and purpose. Of particular interest here are the varieties of ‘history’ on display, and the potential audiences for whom they are presented.

    Event (Conference)

    TitleMobility, discrimination, and cultural conflicts across time and space
    Period09/11/2018 → …
    Web address (URL)
    LocationFaculty of Letters, Osaka University

    ID: 91029286