Examining the memory of the 2001 armed conflict in Macedonia, the volume Conflicting Remembrance includes a chapter by Blinken OSA Archivum Chief Archivist Csaba Szilágyi and former Assistant Archivist Perica Jovchevski.
The edited volume entitled Conflicting Remembrance: The Memory of the Macedonian 2001 in Context is one of the outcomes of the research project about the memory of the 2001 armed conflict in Macedonia. The seven months of hostilities brought the state to the verge of a full-fledged civil war, and resulted in more than 200 casualties, c. 90 civilian victims, and 170,000 internally displaced persons and refugees. The conflict still informs the interethnic relations in the country. Moreover, the dominant mode of invoking 2001 in contemporary North Macedonia is event-centered and builds upon the various commemorations related to the conflict.
Hence, the initial goal of the research project that was launched in 2021 was to grasp the very nuances of the memory events related to 2001 in Macedonia. The research team surveyed three types of sources—newspapers and online media outlets, municipal media, and published oral history interviews—during several months in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the first project results was an online platform that revolves around an interactive map of commemorations, which had its premiere on the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Ohrid Framework Agreement, the peace treaty that settled the conflict and remodeled the institutional arrangement regarding the state’s minority groups.
The edited volume brings interviews with four experts and practitioners from North Macedonia (Boro Kitanovski, Elena B. Stavrevska, Vlora Rechica, and Arbnora Memeti) and four additional chapters that deal with various regional issues related to memories of violent conflicts. The first three (authored by Ana Ljubojević; Vjollca Krasniqi, Vjollca Islami Hajrullahu, and Korab Krasniqi; and Tomasz Rawski) highlight the complexities of the post-conflict constellations, as well as the roles that memorial events and domestic and transnational memory actors play in these very contexts: contributing both to multi-level peacebuilding and peace breaking.
The final chapter, written by Blinken OSA Archivum Chief Archivist Csaba Szilágyi and former Assistant Archivist Perica Jovchevski, examines the critical and self-reflexive re-archiving of television monitoring materials covering the first post-Yugoslav decade (1991–1999) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Serbia. The authors dwell on the epistemic violence/harm twined with the process of record creation, and address their strategies for increasing the transparency and accessibility of records via (counter)archival interventions. These interventions, in turn, allow for better inclusivity and social justice-sensitive archives, while at the same time debase the potency of the exclusivist narratives. As per the editors of the volume, the insights of Szilágyi and Jovchevski—the experts behind Blinken OSA Archivum’s Yugoslavia Archive Project as well—about researching, archiving, digitizing, and, ultimately, positioning toward the bulk of materials related to the violent past in the region, were formative in the development of the research in Skopje and the work on the edited volume.
The project was sponsored by the national branch of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung. Conflicting Remembrance: The Memory of the Macedonian 2001 in Context is free for download.