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Agonistic MourningPolitical Dissidence and the Women in Black$
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Athena Athanasiou

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474420143

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474420143.001.0001

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date: 31 March 2020

Mourning Otherwise

Mourning Otherwise

(p.45) 1 Mourning Otherwise
Agonistic Mourning

Athena Athanasiou

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter engages the discursive conditions that made ethno-nationalist ideologies and armed conflicts of the 1990s possible and probable. Indeed, the question of how to recall the late twentieth-century history of former Yugoslavia constitutes a central aspect of the Women in Black labour of memory. The dissolution of Yugoslavia, especially the normalization of nationalist military violence in the mid-1990s, has manifested gendered norms as constitutive of nationalist discourses. Drawing on the ways in which the movement performatively brings forth an alternative public to embody the potentiality of displaced memory, this chapter argues in favor of breaking through the universalist, moralist, and humanist scripts of mourning. It seeks to make sense of the politically enabling ways in which these activists stage mourning as a site of agonistic resignification in order to interrogate the injustices and foreclosures which sustain dominant regimes of grievability, in Judith Butler’s terms.

Keywords:   conflict, gender, grievability, humanist discourses of mourning, memory, militarism, ethno-nationalism, former Yugoslavia

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