1219 International Affairs Building
420 W 118th Street, 12th floor
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By the end of the 1992-95 Bosnian war more than 100,000 were killed and close to 35,000 individuals were reported missing (presumably killed)—some 7,000 of whom have still not been found or identified up to this day. The issues surrounding the missing and their exhumation, identification and burial are some of the lasting legacies of genocide in Bosnia, still affecting many individuals, especially war widows, their families and respective local communities. Dealing with the ‘ambiguous loss’, i.e. not knowing where the body of one’s loved one is, has made the grieving process of many surviving families much harder than it would be if they had been able to bury the victims. The gaps, absences, and silences the missing persons left behind also reflect upon the politics, culture and reconciliation within the broader Bosnian society and in the diaspora.
Hariz Halilovich—an award-winning social anthropologist and author—is Professor of Global Studies and Australian Council Future Fellow at the Social and Global Studies Centre, RMIT University, Melbourne. His research has focused on place-based identity politics, politically motivated violence, forced migration, memory studies, and human rights. His publications include the books Places of Pain: Forced Displacement, Popular Memory and Trans-local Identities in Bosnian War–torn Communities (2013); Writing After Srebrenica (2017); and Monsters of Modernity: Global Icons for Our Critical Condition (co-authored with Julian C.H. Lee et al) (2019). In addition to academic writing, he has also produced multimedia exhibitions, works of fiction and radio and TV programs.