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Do you remember Milena and Merlinka? Gender Imagery from the Yugoslav Supra Nationalism to the Super Nationalisms and War in the Nineties

Sincic, Mateja Do you remember Milena and Merlinka? Gender Imagery from the Yugoslav Supra Nationalism to the Super Nationalisms and War in the Nineties. West Croatian history journal, 8. pp. 133-149. ISSN 1846-3223 (2014)

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In the past decade wartime gender imagery manipulations in former Yugoslavia have figured prominently in scholarly research. Numerous authors have focused on the issue without however transcending deeply rooted disciplinary boundaries. This paper proposes an interdisciplinary film journey through Dušan Makavejev’s “WR: The Mysteries of the Organism” (1971) and Želimir Žilnik’s “Marble Ass” (1995) as a critique of the dominant views of the linkage between imagery and the violent post-Yugoslav nationalistic practices. Both films openly question the persistence of the rigid definitions of male and female roles in society, within their respective, socialist and nationalistic, realities. Makavejev, through a satiric representation of Wilhelm Reich’s controversial theories, criticizes the institutionalized and dogmatic character of socialist Yugoslavia, while Žilnik depicts the paradoxical implications of the “Balkan pacification” process, once war and nationalism become the raison d’être of a country. The institutionalized praxis of socio-cultural reproduction of inequality, in conjunction with the emergence of new, aggressive nationalistic projects, reinforced the misrepresentations of gender imagery. Men were increasingly depicted as the “heroes”, the courageous warriors protecting the nation, while women were primarily there to reproduce the nation symbolically and biologically. Reproductive processes became part of reproductive ideologies, which later shaped nationalistic discourse and state propaganda. The nation became the fundamental actor, passing from the supposed supra nationalism, embodied in Yugoslavia’s “brotherhood and unity”, to a super veneration of the nation and the purity of the ethnos.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Geneder imagery, nationlism, war, Yugoslav film,Žilnik, Makavejev
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DR Balkan Peninsula
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
Research Area: Economics and Institutional Change
Depositing User: Ms T. Iannizzi
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2014 16:00
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2014 08:00
URI: http://eprints.imtlucca.it/id/eprint/2333

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