Virtual Landscapes of Memory
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- Journal Article
- Information, Communication & Society, 2003, 6 (2), pp. 169 - 186
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This paper will focus on two World Wide Web projects: the virtual nation of Cyber- Yugoslavia (www.juga.com) and the homepage of former Yugoslav president Tito (www.titoville.com). Both projects problematize our understanding of nationhood and political leadership through skilful manipulation of the structural characteristics of the medium. The virtual, performative and transitory nature of both the nation and the state will be exemplifed by Cyber-Yugoslavia - a virtual nation- building endeavour conjured up by Belgrade expatriate playwright Zoran Bacic. The changing character of political leadership will be discussed against the backdrop of Tito's homepage, which archives numerous image and sound files documenting the life of the former Yugoslav president. The two projects share at least three common elements: their genre is parody; their subject matter is repressed collective memory; and they reflect the anxieties of the postmodern condition in their treatment of its most emblematic medium, the Internet. The repressed collective memory encapsulated in these projects is that of South-Slav unity, as an alternative to the now dominant particularist ethno-nationalisms of the Yugoslav successor states.
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