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Dealing with the Past: How to do so in the Age of Digital and Social Media?

Issue No. 14 now online!

The 14th edition of Balkan.Perspectives addresses the perks and pitfalls of using social and online media platforms to deal with the recent conflict past in the Western Balkans.

Balkan Perspectives 14
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How to Deal with the Past in the Digital Age in the Western Balkans?

Balkan.Perspectives is available in four languages on the regional Dealing with the Past (DwP Balkan) website.

Dealing with the Past is a difficult topic to digest, especially in the conflict-prone Western Balkans. Before online platforms made their dramatic entrance here, every truth from the conflicts was vulnerable to manipulation by leaders and their propaganda tools to revive the myths of “great nations”. Now these truths are subject to much needed critical thinking and it seems that social media and media platforms can be tools to reshape these processes, especially in terms of transparency and fact-checking. Of course, the online realm has its drawbacks, particularly when tackling issues as sensitive as those relating to the conflict past. The ‘free-for-all’ nature of the internet, and the instant “stage” that is social media, allows anyone and everyone to write, post, or share opinions that they see as “truth”, and with it, reach a large audience, fast.

We have this great ‘real-time’ resource at our fingertips, which we can choose to utilize to critically analyze the past, to check the facts, to find out more, or we can use it to push demagogic agendas and continue to deepen divisions and mistrust between us. The line between self-expression and sharing demagogy very thin. With that in mind, dealing with the past online is a precarious task.

In this edition of Balkan.Perspectives, contributing authors from across the Western Balkans -  Belma Buljubašić, Besnike Salihu, Fahri Hiseni, Fitim Gashi, Jovana Prusina, Katerina Smileva, Srdjan Puhalo, and Vladan Djukanović – reflect on how this line shifts and bends.

The 14th edition of Balkan.Perspectives is our first fully online issue. From now on, all editions of the magazine will be presented in digital form only. We hope you enjoy this edition, and we welcome feedback: balkan.perspectives@forumzfd.de.

Direct Links to Articles in Balkan.Perspectives No. 14:

1.    Remembering the Past on Social Media, Vladan Đukanović (Serbia)
2.    Dealing with the Past in the times of Social Media, Srđan Puhalo (BiH)
3.    Facing your Painful Past every day: The Difficulties of Dealing with the Past in the Digital Age, Besnike Salihu (Kosovo)
4.    Social media and portals – A space for overcoming or reinforcing prejudice? Katerina Smileva (North Macedonia)
5.    The Trials are Ending – Now What? Jovana Prusina (Serbia)
6.    Role of Social Media in the Affirmation of Revisionism, Re-writing the Past and the Culture of Forgetting, Belma Buljubašić, (BiH)
7.    Inside the Trap of Fake News, Fitim Gashi (Kosovo)
8.    Close but Unknown, Fahri Hiseni (North Macedonia)

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