Balkan Mediations stems out of the many questions raised for North Americans by the 1999 NATO bombing of Kosovo and Yugoslavia in our current age of perpetual mediatised wars. The Balkans have long been viewed by the west through the media lens of “balkanism”: as a liminal space between europe and orient, a zone of ethnic impurity, instability and irrationality, a staging ground for monstrous horror (ghostly presences). Balkan Mediations is structured around the profound rift that I, like many North Americans of yugoslav origin, faced between two deeply disjunctive experiences of NATO’s military intervention: on the one hand, a cold and distant media war of moralistic humanitarianism against monstrous others (proximal distances); on the other hand, the devastating possibility that the ‘collateral damage’ might include my own family (disjuncture). Balkan Mediations takes the ironies of today’s intimate links between media and military technologies as its point of creative intervention, examining the incongruities and brutalities of a context in which, to paraphrase Bob Ostertag, we now use the same tools to play, create media, and kill.



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