Universität KonstanzExzellenzcluster: Kulturelle Grundlagen von Integration

Language and Politics

Literature, Film and Philosophy in Yugoslavia in the Sixties and Seventies

Prof. Dr. Jurij Murašov, Dr. Davor Beganović


In the South Slavic cultures language in its double dimension of performativ orality and composition in a literacy idiom plays, in comparison to other European regions, exceedingly virulent part in the integrations and disintegration processes. It concerns 19th as well as 20th century. The discussions about norms and mutual (alleged) differences of new state controlled written languages (Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian) belong to actual everyday politics. Linguistic identity and difference are thereby not only an item of cultural or educational political actions in particular regions, but the political discourses and actions themselves show in their argumentative and legitimating deep structure relation to omnipresent problem of identity protection that is founded on acoustical dimension of language.

The project asks after the background of this actual, likewise complex as fatal bondage of political and linguistic affirmation of community and language and calls attention for the prominent Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian examples from literature, philosophy and film culture connected with students and intellectual revolts in late sixties and early seventies. In these revolts it could be seen an intensive argument with etatistic ideology and political institutions of titoistic Yugoslavia. In different regions and in different media (literature, film and philosophy) one can at the same time observe an intensified tendency towards verbal-linguistic and performativ-experienced, followed by devaluation of concept for creation of community which are based on abstract contracts. In this way the oral, regional idioms acquire new and constitutive relevance for the politics.

The conceptual clou of the project is that this revaluation of verbal elements and the conjuncture of regional, oral idioms should be analysed in three different medial areas (literature, philosophy, film). Our main concern is in particular to show, on example of literature, how are the speech communication and representation reflected in the area of tension between acoustic word and visual script, in narrative as well as in poetic structures, but at the same time coupled with certain ethical/ethnical positions. In analogy to this procedure we would read a texts of so called Yugoslav „Praxis-philosophy“ in a textual and medial philological key. It is supposed to show how the central concepts and argumentations used for modification of dogmatic positions of official Yugoslav political philosophy at the same time implicate that the specific linguistic positions are ethically based. Accordingly the film analyses are aimed at the subtle correlations of verbality and visuality established by narrative, motivational and compositional film modes. They contribute to disposition of recipient for either visual-fictional identification or, conversely, performativ-communicational attitude.