Hope and despair in the former Yugoslavia

Ivan Vejvoda in conversation with Jon Baskin at the Vienna Humanities Festival 2019

For more of East-Central Europe, 1989 meant peaceful, velvet revolutions. Not so in Yugoslavia where it unleashed political conflict that led to violent civil wars. How do we understand the thirty years the troubled region has undergone? What did these thirty years mean for former Yugoslavia? What were the trajectories of change, hope, disappointment and despair the societies of the Western Balkans went through?

Europe’s Futures Director and Permanent Fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) Ivan Vejvoda reflects on the recent past to assess the stakes of today. In a conversation with New School University’s Jon Baskin, he will offer his analysis of the region’s development.


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Cover picture: A little boy holds his parents’ hands as they walk together in central Ljubliana on 6 July 1991. Photo: © Mike Persson / AFP / picturedesk.com

Vienna Humanities Festival

The Vienna Humanities Festival, organised by the IWM, Wien Museum and Time to Talk, is a series of around 40 events (in German and English) which took place from 26 till 29 September 2019 in Vienna for the fourth time. The talk shown above has been realized in cooperation with the viennacontemporary.

The festival’s topic of 2019 “Hope and Despair” took up burning questions thirty years after the end of communism in Eastern Europe, where liberal democracy has long ceased to be a self-evident goal. With so much despair, the prospects for hope are more urgent than ever. How can we move toward realizing more desirable futures? And what are the lessons we can learn from earlier forms of resistance.

“Witnessing war to learn for peace.”

“Proletarians of all countries, who washes your socks?”

“Time to rethink growth”

“It’s elites who turn against democracy, not the people.”

“Witnessing war to learn for peace.”

“Proletarians of all countries, who washes your socks?”

“Time to rethink growth”

“Justice cannot wait.”

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