Conference of the Institute of Ethnography SASA






Confronting with the Self and the Other. Is Reconciliation Possible in the Balkans?


The Institute of Ethnography SASA
Konrad Adenauer Stiftung
Belgrade, 30 – 31 of October 2014


The past century had been an era of crushing wars and sufferings, intensive political quakes and changes, amazing scientific and technological achievements, stormy cultural revolutions… At the beginning of new millennium, the world can still find itself amidst invincible whirlpool of new political, demographic, technological, economical, cultural and social challenges, and also in front of serious and urgent issues of future and fate of human civilization. Inner contradictions of current, post-modern systems of values, as well as self-evident examples of their global mercantilization, make contemporary man often feel weakness, fear and uncertainty. Such conditions provoke and intensify questions of affiliation, of personal and collective identities, as well as questions of discovering and creating a model of social and political system which would be optimal by providing an equal protection to all society members.
The end of second millennium was, however, also marked by a global phenomenon of reactualization of folk traditions, as well as  traditional and institutional religions. Increased interest for revitalization and conservation of traditional knowledge which was endangered to disappear in the sea of post-modern heritage, attests that the crucial concern of humanity is not the issue of “ideal” socio-political structure of different parts of the world, but the issue of spiritual values and ideas that will govern the planet. Thus,threatening pictures of anti-utopian societies from the famous futuristic novels of XX century find their counterbalance in the need for RECONCILIATION, where reconciliation is the essential matter of human existence. In this context, reconciliation seizes to be a notion of political communication, or a notion which describes the post-war efforts of belligerent parties to establish new rules of co-existence. It also seizes to be a way of continuing life after defeat or victory. Further and deeper than that, reconciliation starts to pertain to the matters of elementary functioning of a social system, a system that must reckon on justice and equality, and also on nurturing empathy which enables all remaining reconciliations with all kinds of others and diverse ones. Nevertheless, the basic precondition of realization of reconciliation is the inner reconciliation of man with the self, through the process of quest and recognition of distinctive and universal characteristics of human and humanity.
Reconciliation is furthermore a psychological, philosophical, theological, anthropological, sociological and historical category, which we would like to present at the conference, by getting out of a narrow political discourse on it. This discourse we shall replace by a discourse on different aspects and possibilities of observation and effectuation of reconciliation: from cultural and historical aspects of this problem, through issues of ethnicity and ethic boarders, issues of religious identities to, ultimately, overviews of anthropology and political sciences.
It is planned to have invited speakers and we invite all colleges to join us for fruitful and interesting discussion. Site and detailed program of the conference will be announced in the timely manner.

Conference program

Organizational team:
Jelena Jablanov Maksimović, MA
Milesa Stefanović-Banović, MA
Đurđina Šijaković, MA
Aleksandra Pavićević, PhD