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Longing for Lost Normalcy: Divergent Meanings of Social Memory and Transitional Justice in the ‘House Museum’ to Missing Persons in Kosovo.

Schwandner-Sievers, S. and Klinkner, M. J., 2019. Longing for Lost Normalcy: Divergent Meanings of Social Memory and Transitional Justice in the ‘House Museum’ to Missing Persons in Kosovo. Nationalities Papers, 47 (2), 232-247.

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DOI: 10.1017/nps.2018.30

Abstract

In spring 1999, amidst a wider ethnic cleansing campaign, Serb police forces abducted Ferdonije Qerkezi’s 15 husband and four sons, who were never to be seen alive again. She subsequently transformed her private 16 house into a memorial to the lost normalcy of her entire social world. We trace this memorialization 17 process; her struggle for recognition; her transformation into an iconic mother of the nation and her 18 activism, both for missing persons and against the internationally-driven Serb-Albanian normalization 19 process in Kosovo. From a multi-disciplinary perspective, we critically reflect on the theoretical concept of 20 “normative divergence” in intervention studies. We are guided by social anthropological (including 21 immersive, historical-ethnographic, and semantic) analysis of the core tropes of social memory as both 22 narratively and materially embodied by the House Museum. In systematically juxtaposing these to the 23 normative transitional justice principles of truth, justice, non-recurrence, and reparations, and the 24 overarching international intervention goal of reconciliation, we critically interrogate normative 25 divergence per se. The ethnographic “thick description” of this case study – cognizant of context 26 contingency, victims’ agency and experience, cultural change, and social transformation – points to 27 divergent meanings of these principles as resulting directly from the political and institutional failure to 28 provide key transitional justice goals.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:0090-5992
Uncontrolled Keywords:Missing persons, social memory, transitional justice, normative divergence, reconciliation, Kosovo
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:31939
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:01 Mar 2019 11:28
Last Modified:08 May 2019 15:38

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