Body-name – The Brotherhood Chronotope and Social Choreography

  • Mirjana Stošić Singidunum University, Belgrade, Serbia


In this research paper I argue that cultural memory is to a considerable extent produced, sustained and reinforced through the performative strategies of staging media events and ritualized collective body-space and body-time relations. Media events and rituals are memory sites that produce imagined social connections and form a celebratory community experience. The annual performances of celebrating President Tito’s birthday on the ground of the JNA Stadium (Yugoslav National Army) in Belgrade was a cyclic renewal of forever youthful nation, based on Titoist concepts of “brotherhood” and “unity”. Annually, on 25thof May, in the vocally reverberating space of the Stadium, the event of Slet served as the closure and climax of the Relay of Youth with a birthday pledge to Josip Broz Tito from all people of Yugoslavia. The “son” of all Yugoslavian nations was placed high on the central seat in the auditorium space, that enabled him to watch his politically charged and semantically blurred nickname (Tito) being inscribed on the ground of the stadium by the bodies of  his subjects, thus creating a mythical body-name of the sovereign. Bodies of nations and nationalities (“narodi i narodnosti”) were arranged in images of sun, heart, flower and finally in letters of the President’s name. Writing Tito’s name by bodies is in itself a writing of nations, all embedded in Slet chronotope and embodied in the memory of the recursive ritual of celebrating The Day of Youth. Somatic topographies of nations and nationalities were manifested under a watchful eye of the Marshal, as a lascivious jouissance in observing the festive young bodies writing “Tito” for Tito himself. Slets were held long after Tito’s death, and took place until 1987, in an uncanny nostalgic form of collective Yugoslav identities in the dawn of emerging ethnic conflict. The Slet memory narrative is framed in haunting chronotope of spectral echoed temporality, and of the phantom space of the sovereign’s signature.


[1] Maja Brkaljčić, “Tito’s Bodies in Word and Image”, Narodna umjetnost , 40/1, 2003.

[2] Michel Foucault, Discipline & Punish. The Birth of the Prison, second edition, New York: Vintage Books, 1995.

[3] Aleksandar Ignjatović, “Muzej 25. maj I transformacija prostora Dedinja”, in Tito – viđenja i tumačenja, Beograd: Institut za noviju istoriju Srbije: Arhiv Jugoslavije, 2011.

[4] Peggy Kamuf, Signature Pieces: On the Institution of Authorship, Ithaca, N. Y.: Cornell University Press, 1988.

[5] Ernst H. Kantorowicz, The King’s Two Bodies. A study in Medieval Political Theology, Princeton University Press, 1997.

[6] Rastko Močnik, „Tito: Pop-Romantic Mastery“, in VLASTITO iskustvo, past present, Radinja Leposavić, Ed.. Beograd: Samizdat, 2005.

[7] Constantine V. Nakassis, “Para-s/cite, Part I: The Parasite”, Semiotic Review, Issue 1: Parasites, May 2013.

[8] Constantine V. Nakassis, “Para-s/cite, Part II: The Paracite”, Semiotic Review, Issue 1: Parasites, May 2013.

[9] Bojana Videkanić, “First and last Emperor. Representations of the President, Bodies of the Youth”, in Remembering Utopia: The Culture of Everyday Life in Socialist Yugoslavia, Breta Luthar and Maruša Pušnik, Eds., Washington, DC: New Academia Pub., 2010.
How to Cite
STOŠIĆ, Mirjana. Body-name – The Brotherhood Chronotope and Social Choreography. Култура/Culture, [S.l.], n. 4, p. 115-122, nov. 2014. ISSN 1857-7725. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 19 july 2019.
English Articles


cultural memory, discourse, media event, ritual, bodily mnemotechnic, haunted repetition, identity