Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.821648
Title: Unsettled landscapes : the narrative and material capacities of landscape in the post-war Croatian hinterlands
Author: Fyfe, Jessie
ISNI:       0000 0004 9359 9904
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2020
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Abstract:
Historically, conflicts concerned with ethno-national identity, culture and borders have tended to take place in urban situations. Cities are thus distinct targets for group-based hostilities, and this has been the focus of a growing body of literature. Within the discourses on the legacy of conflict and violence suffered during the 1990’s war in the Former Yugoslav Republic, Mostar, Vukovar, Sarajevo, and other cities have understandably been the focus of much research on the dynamics of conflict and memory within the built environment. This dissertation proposes an expansion beyond this attention to urban, social and cultural memory-scapes, a shift in the frame toward landscape, focussing on the historical violence in Croatia and its legacy for the cultural value of landscapes of conflict, and on memory making within those landscapes. With architectural targets of destruction, the destruction itself often endows buildings with historical significance, but violence that takes place in the landscape affects cultural practice differently. Indeed, what is communicated in the destruction within and of a landscape is bound to its capability to efface, to weather, and deteriorate as well as to renew and regenerate. Landscape is perceived to be linked to the special temporal condition of the cyclical nature of growth and adaptation: it is afforded a perceived primordial status, a characterisation that can be seen as a kind of violence itself as these natural processes can physically conceal, alter, and suppress evidence of conflict and trauma. The manifestations of these perceptions of landscape shape the histories and biographies of place and mark the land as ‘unsettled’ in the ongoing processes of both place and memory making. The dissertation explores the tensions in the materiality, spatiality, and temporality of landscape that impact the commemoration practices following the historical and more recent conflicts within Croatia. Original empirical research on two memorials in borderland landscapes contributes to contemporary discussions on the cultural spaces of memory in post war Croatia and, by implication, more broadly, by demonstrating that landscape affords particular opportunities and sets particular conditions for local and official memory practices in response to traumatic events. The dissertation argues that the dynamic relations between landscapes and memorials are linked to the politically discursive status of landscapes, their material and affective qualities, and their temporal condition, rendering them significant in themselves for the formation of cultural memories of conflict. Finally, the research advocates for an expanded notion of landscape to acknowledge the distinctive, complex, and integral role it can be understood to play in memorial dynamics.
Supervisor: Sternberg, Maximillian Sponsor: University of Cambridge
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.821648  DOI:
Keywords: Landscape Research ; Borders ; Memory studies ; Ethno-national contestation ; Balkan studies
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