Liberation Warfighters by Ljubica Spaskovska
Society and culture category
Having been permitted access to the now abandoned Memorial Home of the Liberation War Fighters and the Youth of Yugoslavia that used to house the Political School of the Yugoslav League of Communists in Kumrovec – Josip Broz Tito’s birthplace in Croatia, I was struck by the well-preserved library and the sense that time had stopped two decades ago.
Seen here is Tito’s bust against a background of books which have since lost their relevance and appeal. Alongside different institutional and unofficial attempts at dealing with the socialist past, ‘traces of the past, erasures, losses, and heterotopias’ still remain in former socialist countries.
By shifting our attention to the complex interaction between past and present, not only we would be better positioned to understand how individuals make sense of the fall of state socialism, we would also gain insight into the legacy of ‘1989’ and its relevance for our common European future.