Balkan.Perspectives #22

Still Invisible and Unheard! Gender Perspectives in Cultures of Remembrance

Already seven years have passed since my colleague, and then Editor-in-Chief, Maike Dafeld, wrote in her editorial of the Balkan.Perspectives edition 09/2016: “When it comes to dealing with the past in the Western Balkans, respecting gender usually means discussing only and exclusively about sexual violence against women during war times. As a consequence, women are not seen as agents of change; and they are also not included when trying to overcome the violent past and rebuilding a peaceful society.“

There have been some changes and developments in these past seven years. However, we still face challenges when we discuss women’s voices and their roles in dealing with the region’s violent past.

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The Balkan.Perspectives edition from 2016 was published with the title “Her and His History”. Just as we did back then, the current Balkan.Perspectives editorial team sees the urge to focus this edition even more on HERstory, the stereotypes, and attributions that women face when discussing the violent past of former Yugoslavia. Thus, the Balkan.Perspectives editorial team seeks in this edition to look beyond the repetitive oscillation between hyper-female attribution as mothers, sisters, or caretakers and the (re-)victimization of women. We asked our authors to critically reflect on the roles of women in cultures of remembrance in the respective countries and discuss about the questions of un-learning internalized monolithic narratives, re-building and critically questioning the narratives which have surrounded the broad and complex topic of gender perspectives and transitional justice, dealing with the past, and cultures of remembrance.

Therefore, we choose the title “Still Invisible and Unheard!” and seek to thereby add another layer of reflections, valuable discussions, and insights to this topic and again call for women being the central agent in these discussions.

In the contributions from Bosnia and Hercegovina, Edo Kanlić reflects on the role of women during the war in Bosnia and Hercegovina and Jasmina Čaušević looks at the female voices in recent cultural and artistic productions in Bosnia and Hercegovina. Aulonë Kadriu contributes to this edition a very personal reflection on the role of women in dealing with the past in Kosovo. Renea Begolli and Erëmirë Krasniqi discuss in a conversation their journey as the curators of the Secondary Archive edition Kosovo. Simona Mladenovska analyses the ambivalent journey of women’s rights in North Macedonia while Maja Atanasova analyzed the new Law on gender equality and the road towards this new law. Jasmina Tešanović from Serbia emphasizes in her text the necessity to capture the memories and stories of women to counter that history is only written by men. In her article Maša Samardžija lays out how important female voices and memories of survivors of violence and war are.

This edition features a next season of a new Balkan.Perspectives Podcast series. As usual, you can listen and download the podcasts via our website or via your preferred streaming service like Spotify, Google Podcast, or Apple Podcast. We would like to thank our partners, the production team behind and in front of the microphones and our guests who contributed to the podcasts. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, we thank Đorđe Krajišnik, and Vanja Šunjić and Maida Zagorac. In Kosovo, we thank the TILLT Radio, Serbeze Haxhiaj, Aulonë Kadriu and Lura Limani. In North Macedonia, we thank Radio MOF and Simona Mladenovska. In Serbia, we thank the magazine Liceulice and Elena Premata.

The Balkan.Perspectives editorial team wishes you an informative read of the current edition and enjoyable listening of the podcasts.

In the name of the Balkan.Perspectives editorial team
Alexander Vojvoda


Balkan.Perspectives Podcast

The Balkan Perspectives podcast is forumZFD’s audio format on Dealing with the Past and Peace Education in the Western Balkans. The podcast is produced in four languages (Albanian, BHCS, Macedonian and English) by the forumZFD offices in Bosnia and Hercegovina, […]

Secondary Archive

Conversation between the Secondary Archive Kosovo curators Erëmirë Krasniqi and Renea Begolli Erëmirë: You are an artist yourself Renea. How much did you know about women artists of different generations in Kosovo prior to the curation of the Secondary Archive […]


Memories lie, women don’t. it is not true that only winners write history. History is written by men in power. During a war, women become second-class citizens and their role is split between somber duties in preserving daily life and […]

фото: Симона Младеновска

The Perspective in The Past

If you live in the Balkans, on a few occasions if you are lucky, and on many, if you are not that much, you become aware that in this part of the world, people have very peculiar views on the […]

Will nothing be named after them?

Remembering the Role of Women During the War in Bosnia and Herzegovina If relied exclusively on the programs and messages of commemorations, street names, names of institutions, and what has been written on memorial plaques and monuments in post-war Bosnia […]

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On 17 February 2023, as Kosovo celebrated its 15th anniversary of independence, a journalist asked people on the street who they thought the central figure of Kosovo was. They all mentioned men, whose names we had all heard before. Nobody […]

Impressum 22 – 03/2023

Editor in Chief: Alexander Vojvoda

Editorial Team: Sunita Dautbegović-Bošnjaković, Martin Filipovski, Ana Pejović

Authors: Maja Atanasova, Renea Begolli, Jasmina Čaušević, Aulonë Kadriu, Edo Kanlić, Erëmirë Krasniqi, Simona Mladenovska, Maša Samardžija, Jasmina Tešanović,

Podcasts: Bosnia and Hercegovina: Đorđe Krajišnik, Vanja Šunjić and Maida Zagorac Kosovo: TILLT Radio, Serbeze Haxhiaj, Aulonë Kadriu and Lura Limani North Macedonia: Radio MOF and Simona Mladenovska Serbia:

Design (Cover page): Envinion

Translation: LBG Communications (Albanian), Luna Đorđević (BHCS), Martina Kimovska (Macedonian)

Proofreading: LBG Communications (Albanian/English), Zinaida Lakić (BHCS), Zanet Ristoska (Macedonian)