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Discuss how the book 'Waiting for Macedonia: Identity in a Changing World' and the film 'We Are All Neigh-_ bours' i - Essay Example

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The Perception of Nationhood: Identity and Conflict in Bosnia and Macedonia Name Class Instructor Date Table of Contents Historical actualities………………………………………………………………….1 Conflict and changing identity………………………………………………………2 Nationality and religion………………………………………………………………
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Discuss how the book Waiting for Macedonia: Identity in a Changing World and the film We Are All Neigh-_ bours i
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Discuss how the book 'Waiting for Macedonia: Identity in a Changing World' and the film 'We Are All Neigh-_ bours' i

Download file to see previous pages... In a region once marked by national unity and a tenuous sense of common purpose, the Balkan conflict created a political vacuum in which social order broke down. The psychological transformation that resulted not only raised questions about how different ethnic and religious groups could continue living together, but how the evolving Balkan nations might fit into the greater world community, particularly, within a democratic Europe (Thiessen, 2007, p. 34). The 2007 book Waiting for Macedonia: Identity in a Changing World and the documentary film We Are All Neighbours consider such matters. Thiessen writes of an “Us and Them” paradigm in Macedonia, an “Otherness” that Macedonians have adapted to meet their own perspective on the world and to gauge their place in that world (2007, p. 40). Identity in Macedonia is a fluid concept, with the country’s Slavic population reaching into the country’s ancient past in the effort to construct a national identity (Ibid). Macedonians have had only to consider the existence of a strong European identity in Germany, no stranger to fragmentation, to recognize the benefits of identification with the nation Name 2 states that comprise the European Union. In Bosnia, identity was compromised in the wake of the Tito regime’s demise. Socialism in Yugoslavia, though coercive, fostered a form of national unity, which, when independence came to the former Yugoslav states, resulted in a gradual social incoherence. The ethnic violence that ensued was, perhaps, unsurprising given the conditions in the 1990s. But the suddenness with which it occurred, and its effects on a multi-ethnic Bosnian village, is the subject of We Are All Neighbours. The lingering effects of socialism and of life under a totalitarian regime have been blamed for the cataclysm of the 1990s. In Macedonia, Thiessen contends that it was not the absence of socialism but an absence of a national context that stirred up ethnic unrest (Thiessen, 2007, p. 25). Identity lay at the heart of the matter. Whereas the existence of Yugoslavia allowed Macedonians to think of themselves in terms of Europe, the post-socialist reality produced nostalgia for Yugoslavia that was tantamount to the desire for a future as part of the European community (Ibid). The conclusion one may draw from the post-socialist Macedonian and Bosnian experiences is that national identity has at least as much to do with a nation’s future as it does with its past and present. Conflict and changing identity In her 1995 documentary We Are All Neighbours, Tone Bringa found that unity can be an illusory and transitory force. Bringa’s subjects, the citizens of an anonymous village near Sarajevo, ruminate on the nature of the friendships that exist between Muslims and Catholic Croats, and the possibility that it could all be brought to nothing by war. The conversations take place against a looming backdrop of violence, with the sounds of war literally present in the Name 3 background. Bringa’s protagonists gradually adopt identities that marginalize their fellow villagers, in the process becoming separate and distrustful of the “others” in the village. While the community shares a common Croatian ethnicity, the Muslims are descendants ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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