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DePauw University

Publication Date

Spring 2015

Program Name

Serbia, Bosnia, and Kosovo: Peace and Conflict Studies in the Balkans


Though the 1999 war that liberated Kosovo from Serbian control is over fifteen years in the past, memories of the 1990s still remain in a state of chaos. This paper approaches the development of these collective memories through interviews with Prishtina residents about the memories and legacy of Ibrahim Rugova’s parallel structures in the 1990s. Though they draw from similar narratives as memories of the Kosovo Liberation Army’s armed resistance, memories of the nonviolent resistance play a vastly different and largely underrepresented role in current Kosovar Albanian public discourse. Through competing deployments of resistance memories, disproportionate memorialization of Kosovo’s violent resistance and a so-called “memory chaos” surrounding unsupported initiatives to deal with the past, memories of the 1990s and the parallel system are caught in a state of flux. This state of flux has revealed the tensions between past and present in Kosovo, and has left its impression upon the people who lived in the parallel system, the students who grew up in its wake and the activists tasked with keeping its memories alive.


Community-Based Research | European Languages and Societies | Family, Life Course, and Society | History | International and Area Studies | Military History | Oral History | Organization Development | Other History | Pain Management | Place and Environment | Politics and Social Change | Social History | Sociology of Culture


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