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

by
Pub. Date: 2010-01-07
Publisher(s): Ashgate Pub Co
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Excerpts

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. 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. Baker's book provides valuable insight into the role of music in a wartime and post-conflict society.

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