Genealogy of anarchism in the Balkans

Featured Speakers/Commentators:  Ziga Vodovnik, Andrej Grubacic, and Tamara Vukov
Producer:  Aaron
Summary: A presentation given at the 2007 Renewing the Anarchist Tradition Conference in Montpelier, Vermont.
Credits: www.anarchist-studies.org
Notes: This panel will offer a historical overview of anarchism in the Balkan region, wherein special attention will be on the past and current anarchist movements in the ex-Yugoslav republics. Although anarchism in the Balkans has a long and rich history, its story is often misused and/or overlooked. Either it is reduced to an anachronistic anomaly that ended in 1914, with the peccadillo committed by young Bosnian Gavrilo Princip and that started the First World War, or it is robbed of its rich past in its entirety. There is another reason why we would like to focus on the anarchist tradition in the Balkans, and in particular, on the history and contemporary reality of the anarchist politics in the former Yugoslavia and post-Yugoslav republics. We will paint the landscape of anti-colonial struggles against European racism and colonialism, resistance to nationalism and ethnic wars, and a prefigurative opposition to the capitalist offensive in this much-neglected region of the anarchist world.

Ziga is an anarchist writer living in Slovenia. He is an assistant professor of political science at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, where his teaching and research is focused on anarchist theory/praxis and social movements in the Americas.

Andrej is an anarchist writer and anarchist historian from the Balkans. He is a member of the Global Balkans network and the Serbian Freedom Fight anarchist collective as well as a member of the editorial board of the Balkan Z magazine.

Tamara has been active in a range of autonomous social movements, independent media, and media arts in Montreal over the past fifteen years (recently including Solidarity across Borders, the People’s Commission on Immigration Security Measures, and the Volatile Works collective). In collaboration with the Global Balkans network, she is currently filming a documentary on the impacts of the postwar neoliberal transition in Serbia to be completed in 2009.

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