Remembering to remember: memorialization and commemorative performance of missing persons in kosovo

Vjollca Krasniqi, Vjollca Islami Hajrullahu, Korab Krasniqi
Publication Year
Europe and Central Asia
Thematic Area
Families / The Search Process
Advocacy / Memorialization
Open access

This book chapter explores the dynamics and patterns of memorialization, commemorative performance, and co-production of memory of missing persons as it has evolved within the framework of transitional justice processes and mechanisms in Kosovo since the end of the conflict in 1999 and postindependence in 2008. More specifically, the chapter discusses memory work and the role of the families of missing persons and other social actors engaging in dealing with the past. Reading the commemorative performances and memory activism, the chapter explores how the memory of missing persons is constructed and in what way memorialization is contributing toward a shared understanding of the recent past in Kosovo. The key questions the chapter seeks to unpack are: How does the past manifest itself in the present? How do mnemonic communities—as networks evolved, maintained, and transformed through processes of collective remembering—commemorate together in Kosovo? How is the past remembered? And to what extent are commemorations of missing persons inclusive and transformative? The chapter argues that cross-community memory activism and commemoration about missing persons offer possibilities for multiple readings of the past and carry the potential for conflict transformation.