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Sounds of the Borderland: Popular Music, War and Nationalism in Croatia Since 1991

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Sounds of the Borderland is the first book-length study of how popular music became a medium for political communication and contested identification during and after Croatia's war of independence from Yugoslavia. It extends existing cultural studies literature on music, politics and the state, which has largely been grounded in Western European and North American politica Sounds of the Borderland is the first book-length study of how popular music became a medium for political communication and contested identification during and after Croatia's war of independence from Yugoslavia. It extends existing cultural studies literature on music, politics and the state, which has largely been grounded in Western European and North American political systems. It also responds to an emerging fascination with the culture and politics of contemporary south-east Europe, expanding scholarship on the post-Yugoslav conflicts by going on to encompass significant social and political changes into the present day. The outbreak of war in 1991 saw almost every professional musician in Croatia take part in a wave of patriotic music-making and the powerful state television system strive to bring popular music under its control. As the political imperative shifted from securing national survival to consolidating a homogenous nation-state, the music industry responded with several strategies for creating a national popular music, producing messages about the nation and, in the ongoing debates over the origins of the folk music that inspired many songs, a way to define the nation by expressing what Croatia was not. The war on ethnic ambiguity which cut through individuals' social and creative lives played out across the airwaves, sales racks and gossip columns of a small country that imagined itself a historical and cultural borderland. These explicit and implicit narratives of nationhood connect many political phases: the months of fiercest fighting, the stabilised front, the uneasy post-war years when the symbolic frontline region of eastern Slavonia had still not returned to Croatian sovereignty, the euphoria and instability after the end of the Tudjman regime in 2000, and Croatia's fraught journey towards the European Union. Baker's book provides valuable insight into the role of music in a wartime and post-conflict society and will be essential reading for researchers and students interested in south-east Europe or the transformation of entertainment during and after conflict.


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Sounds of the Borderland is the first book-length study of how popular music became a medium for political communication and contested identification during and after Croatia's war of independence from Yugoslavia. It extends existing cultural studies literature on music, politics and the state, which has largely been grounded in Western European and North American politica Sounds of the Borderland is the first book-length study of how popular music became a medium for political communication and contested identification during and after Croatia's war of independence from Yugoslavia. It extends existing cultural studies literature on music, politics and the state, which has largely been grounded in Western European and North American political systems. It also responds to an emerging fascination with the culture and politics of contemporary south-east Europe, expanding scholarship on the post-Yugoslav conflicts by going on to encompass significant social and political changes into the present day. The outbreak of war in 1991 saw almost every professional musician in Croatia take part in a wave of patriotic music-making and the powerful state television system strive to bring popular music under its control. As the political imperative shifted from securing national survival to consolidating a homogenous nation-state, the music industry responded with several strategies for creating a national popular music, producing messages about the nation and, in the ongoing debates over the origins of the folk music that inspired many songs, a way to define the nation by expressing what Croatia was not. The war on ethnic ambiguity which cut through individuals' social and creative lives played out across the airwaves, sales racks and gossip columns of a small country that imagined itself a historical and cultural borderland. These explicit and implicit narratives of nationhood connect many political phases: the months of fiercest fighting, the stabilised front, the uneasy post-war years when the symbolic frontline region of eastern Slavonia had still not returned to Croatian sovereignty, the euphoria and instability after the end of the Tudjman regime in 2000, and Croatia's fraught journey towards the European Union. Baker's book provides valuable insight into the role of music in a wartime and post-conflict society and will be essential reading for researchers and students interested in south-east Europe or the transformation of entertainment during and after conflict.

25 review for Sounds of the Borderland: Popular Music, War and Nationalism in Croatia Since 1991

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dimitrije Vojnov

    Ovu analizu koja pokušava da izbegne nacionalne odrednice moram početi jednom nacionalnom opservacijom - hrvatska pop scena i estrada uopšte su oduvek bili organizovaniji i sistematičniji od svih ostalih u SFRJ. Otud ne čudi da je ova organizovana družina vrlo temeljno zauzela mesto u periodu otcepljenja Hrvatske i Domovinskog rata koji je usledio. Stepen esnafskog udruživanja i uredničkog autoriteta u hrvatskim medijima i na muzičkoj sceni su referentni verovatno i u svetskim okvirima, tako da Ovu analizu koja pokušava da izbegne nacionalne odrednice moram početi jednom nacionalnom opservacijom - hrvatska pop scena i estrada uopšte su oduvek bili organizovaniji i sistematičniji od svih ostalih u SFRJ. Otud ne čudi da je ova organizovana družina vrlo temeljno zauzela mesto u periodu otcepljenja Hrvatske i Domovinskog rata koji je usledio. Stepen esnafskog udruživanja i uredničkog autoriteta u hrvatskim medijima i na muzičkoj sceni su referentni verovatno i u svetskim okvirima, tako da je njihova estrada gotovo hijerarhizovano i formacijski raspodeljeno dočekala brojne kako estetske tako i ideološke izazove koje je proizvelo otcepljenje od SFRJ. Popularna kultura koja je bila jedna od retkih panjugoslovenskih pojava bila je oblast u kojoj se raspad SFRJ žestoko osetio. Odjednom su neki autori i izvođači alijenirali ogroman deo svoje publike a neki drugi su potpuno nestali iz naših života, da bi potom krenulo preispitivanje do dana-današnjeg na temu kako se ko držao za vreme rata. Ipak, sve ove opservacije koje sam imao ranije produbljene su bez premca, a rekao bih i bez jedne ovako stručno i sistematično urađene studije koja bi joj prethodila. Dok smo se mi godinama zadržavali na informisanju o bizarnostima i ekscesima, ova knjiga je obuhvatila sve to kombinujući verodostojno svedočanstvo o događajima, studiozan istorijski pregled i pronicljivu teorijsku analizu. Zvuci granice se čitaju kao vrhunska showbiz biografija a donose promišljenost vrhunskog naučnog rada. Sve u svemu, izuzetno čitalačko iskustvo.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Goran

    Занимљиво је подсјетити се тих времена али и видјети какве се силе крију иза нечег што обично сматрамо спонтаним као што је развој музике...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mario

  4. 4 out of 5

    Aleks

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  6. 4 out of 5

    Elvis Viskovic

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ralf Grabuschnig

  8. 5 out of 5

    jennifer

  9. 5 out of 5

    Marija Stojadinović

  10. 5 out of 5

    Anna

  11. 5 out of 5

    Massimo Balducci

  12. 5 out of 5

    Marsha Kaslon

  13. 5 out of 5

    Krzysiek (Chris)

  14. 4 out of 5

    John

  15. 5 out of 5

    Enikő

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sanja

  17. 4 out of 5

    Myrte

  18. 5 out of 5

    Laia Rodríguez

  19. 4 out of 5

    Irina

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sinisa Rodin

  21. 5 out of 5

    Милан

  22. 5 out of 5

    Marko Dinic

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dionis Kozonogi

  24. 4 out of 5

    Andrej Dolinka

  25. 5 out of 5

    Milan

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