Identities in War


The article seeks to contribute to the ethnological debate in the meaning of space and place by analyzing the processes of identity formation in the context of violence. The personal narratives on the lived experience of war in Croatia 1991 – 92 point to the prevalent tendency of situating identity in spatial terms: the dwelling place has been perceived as the basic identity category by civilians under siege. Such a tendency is highly liable to be used for nationalist causes, but here its pre-political character is pointed out. The examples of everyday interactions and communications either radically reduced or newly introduced due to the siege and shelling, outline a wartime politics of identity based not on choice, but on absence of choice, not on strategies of negotiation, but on strategies of survival.

How to Cite

Povrzanovic, M., (1997) “Identities in War”, Ethnologia Europaea 27(2), 153-162. doi:

Publisher Notes

  • This article was previously published by Museum Tusculanum Press.


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Maja Povrzanovic (Intitute of Ethnolgoy and Folklore Research)



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