E4: ‘Mapping’ of ICTY records

Nikola Gajić, MA (IOS)

Project description

The research project focuses on the role of victim witnesses’ court testimonies in front of the ICTY in process of creating multiple memories of the wars of the 1990s in the countries of former Yugoslavia. The project will explore the instrumentalization of the testimonies by political actors, religious national churches, and media as agents who have the capacity to shape the war related memories at the post-Yugoslav space. In the research project I will emphasize the importance of these testimonies, as a vehicle for the counties memory politics. Memory itself represents particular social values, being politicized by political actors, it influences the broader public and its behavior. Having in mind the post-conflict contexts in these counties and the rising nationalist discourse by the political actors, it is highly important to see what role these testimonies have in the process. Therefore, the reseach will look at what kind of afterlife victims’ court testimonies have in the reconciliation processes, and also serve as an comparative example for other post-conflict contexts.

Key questions

The main question that drives the analysis is: How have victim witnesses’ court testimonies in front of the ICTY been used for the purpose of public memory-creation in the countries of former Yugoslavia? Answering this question, I would test the hypothesis that the instrumentalization of these testimonies by political actors and media leads to their alienation from their creator, the victim, and becomes a tool in country’s memory politics for securing the political power for the political actors.

Methodology and sources

As the analyzed data differs in its format, I have approached it by using digital humanities tools, such as MAXQDA. By using these tools, I will quantitatively extract crucial parts from it for the subsequent qualitative content analysis.

The main sources of the project are transcripts from the court hearings available at the ICTY data base.

    Project team