Izlaganje Ane Ljubojević, 24. rujna 2014.


poziva u srijedu 24. 09. 2014. u 12h na izlaganje


Ane Ljubojević

Memory on trial: Media discourses on war crime trials in Croatia and Serbia


Almost twenty years after the end of conflict in the former Yugoslavia, discourses about the present and future are based upon revised and reconstructed narratives about the past. Therefore, the relationships between transitional justice, political ideologies and historical narratives are still contested and vague.

This research is comparative in nature, as we focus on Croatian and Serbian media representation of war crime trials. We explore the relationship between official narratives of the war, legal narratives of war crime trials and the way that the media conveys both the narratives and reports on these trials. We approached the problematique by analysing trial transcripts and media reports about Medak pocket case, reffered to Croatian judiciary by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Assuming that the media in contemporary societies have huge influence on shaping knowledge about history and shared historical narratives, this research tries to track possible changes in master narratives about the war in the former Yugoslavia.

We question whether collective memory and master historical narratives are contingent on legal and media representations of war crime trials. War crime trials generate partial narratives as they deal only with historical facts directly connected to establishing the question of individual guilt. Therefore, those representations of the past events are fragmented and require processes of selection and interpretation in order to be transformed into public or media narrative.

We argue that transitional justice, instead of triggering truth seeking and truth telling processes that would lead to reconciliation, multiplied mutually exclusive historical narratives that determined national collective identities.


Ana Ljubojevic obtained a PhD in Political Systems and Institutional Change at IMT Institute for Advanced Studies Lucca, Italy. During the academic year 2010/2011 she was a Visiting Researcher Fellow at the Centre for the Study of the Balkans at Goldsmiths College, University of London. She has completed a fieldwork in Humanitarian Law Center in Belgrade, Serbia, analyzing legal and media documents linked to war crime trials and rule of law practices in the region of the former Yugoslavia. Her research area is transitional justice in Western Balkan countries, with a special interest in reconciliation processes. Recently, she completed a regional project in shared narratives on political mythmaking in ex Yugoslavia after 1945 and participated on numerous conferences where she presented her research. Ms. Ljubojevic was just appointed as a Researcher in three years Project on Impact of International Criminal Tribunals, lead by the University of Social Sciences and Humanitiesfrom Poland and Institute of Social Sciences from Serbia.