Nina Mihaljinac, Anđela Vujošević

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In addition to scientific and historical accounts, artistic and media texts also construct stories of significant events, thus constructing ideologically charged narratives of present and past events. These narratives can become official versions of the past that shape collective memory and identity. Unlike history books, which are written with a greater time distance, media and artistic texts directly influence the formation of narratives about current events and therefore the self-confidence and self-understanding of the collective. Based on an interest in the question of how identity is formed in today's Serbia, this article deals with media and artistic texts that speak about one of the most significant events in Serbia’s recent history - the NATO bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Opinions about this event are divided, and the totality of information about the bombing seems unknowable. To establish a more objective approach to this issue, the images of the bombing created by foreign media and artists are analyzed from the point of view of Memory Studies and through theories of arts and media (Assmann, Hartman, Felman, Laub, Kuljić), primarily using content and linguistic discourse analysis (Foucault, Spitzmüller, Warnke). The analysis has shown that most of the analyzed media texts justify the bombing, while all artworks criticize and condemn it. This has led us to the conclusion that that the bombing wasn’t justified, and that media texts on the subject served as political propaganda. In other words, artistic texts have a greater potential for social and political criticism than the media.


NATO bombing of FRY, arts and media, memory studies, German press, humanitarian interventions

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