Body-name – The Brotherhood Chronotope and Social Choreography
AbstractIn 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.
 Michel Foucault, Discipline & Punish. The Birth of the Prison, second edition, New York: Vintage Books, 1995.
 Aleksandar Ignjatović, “Muzej 25. maj I transformacija prostora Dedinja”, in Tito – viđenja i tumačenja, Beograd: Institut za noviju istoriju Srbije: Arhiv Jugoslavije, 2011.
 Peggy Kamuf, Signature Pieces: On the Institution of Authorship, Ithaca, N. Y.: Cornell University Press, 1988.
 Ernst H. Kantorowicz, The King’s Two Bodies. A study in Medieval Political Theology, Princeton University Press, 1997.
 Rastko Močnik, „Tito: Pop-Romantic Mastery“, in VLASTITO iskustvo, past present, Radinja Leposavić, Ed.. Beograd: Samizdat, 2005.
 Constantine V. Nakassis, “Para-s/cite, Part I: The Parasite”, Semiotic Review, Issue 1: Parasites, May 2013. http://www.semioticreview.com
 Constantine V. Nakassis, “Para-s/cite, Part II: The Paracite”, Semiotic Review, Issue 1: Parasites, May 2013. http://www.semioticreview.com
 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.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).
Култура/Culture by MI-AN is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.