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Picture of Documents on the Balkans – History, Memory, Identity

Documents on the Balkans – History, Memory, Identity

Representations of Historical Discourses in the Balkan Documentary Film

Author(s): Margit Rohringer

Book Description

This book explores historical discourses on the various forms of identity production in film that are based on memory and shows how these narratives get 'mediated' by (documentary) film.

Most films about the Balkans produced in the last two decades were in fact made in response to immediate concerns about the economic crises and political conflicts that struck the region during the 1990s. These new forms of communication about history mostly show a rather self-critical approach.

The book's case studies give the reader a clear idea of how processes informing identity formations are directly launched and later on maintained in peoples' real and everyday lives. Thus, the case studies' principal objective is to integrate the study of 'private space' with existing macro-debates in politics as well as with dominant discourses within the academic community. The included case studies focus on several topics, i.e. migration, the reproduction and protection of personal as well as collective identities in post-socialist societies, revolutionary processes towards the official end of the Cold War, the (re-)creation of politically constructed narratives, generational conflicts in the post-socialist period, and the fate of women during the war.

The multifaceted view of the region under focus in this study shows that common grounds and differences co-exist in the Balkan space, be it on a cultural, economic, social or (geo)-political level.

Apart from the field of film studies, this work is a powerful contribution to cultural history as well as to the growing field of visual history.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-1241-2
ISBN-10: 1-4438-1241-2
Date of Publication: 01/09/2009
Pages / Size: 325 / A5
Price: £44.99


Margit Rohringer was a Research Associate in Film Studies at the University of Leicester (UK) where she worked on the AHRB-funded project Balkan Cinema: Film and History (2004 – 2005). She studied Sociology and Communication at the University of Vienna and wrote a thesis on Yugoslav cinema. Her monograph Der jugoslawische Film nach Tito: Konstruktionen kollektiver Identitäten was published by Lit-Verlag (2008). She has written various articles, reviews and essays, related to Balkan cinema and culture and has been in charge for several film programmes featuring the cinema of the region. During her stay in the UK, she taught "Researching World Cinemas" at Leicester University. She went back to Austria and now teaches "Film- and TV-Analysis" at the Institute of Theatre, Film and Media Studies, University of Vienna. She is also a member of the research group for 'Visual sociology' at the Vienna Institute of Sociology.